Curbs on poll victory celebrations turn big spoiler for flower traders

Sales are down due to Sunday lockdown and ban on events

Total lockdown on Sunday and restrictions over celebrations during State Assembly election results have dampened the sale of garlands and flowers at the Koyambedu wholesale market.

On Saturday, most flower shops made only half of their normal daily sales and shops were deserted by afternoon. The market is usually abuzz with activity around election result days as traders would be busy delivering orders for garlands and floral crowns as cadre would prepare for victory celebrations.

However, this time, restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic have brought down orders at the market. This added to the woes of the flower sellers as they were already hit by dip in daily sales.

M. Selvakumar, a flower merchant, said nearly 20 orders were cancelled due to the lockdown on Sunday. Each garland would have been sold for ₹3,000 to ₹10,000 according to its size. “I would have earned up to ₹1 lakh through these orders in a single day. But I am struggling with daily sales as there are not enough buyers,” he said.

The daily earnings of many other traders have dropped as there were no major functions being held in the city. A. Manohar, a flower wholesaler, said the market received about 30 tonnes of flowers daily. “Each trader would have earned between ₹50,000 and ₹2 lakh during such occasions like election results day. But, this time, the daily sales have dropped by 50% as people refrained from visiting the market,” he added.

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