Shopping frenzy: Markets crowded with shoppers ahead of Eid

Police report a surge in robberies; commuters accuse transporters of overcharging


Women inspect bangles at a stall set up in front of a shop in Anarkali Market. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS

LAHORE:


With Eid around the corner, citizens have started wrapping up their preparations to celebrate the holiday with traditional zeal and fervour.


Markets across the city, including Liberty Market, Naqi Market, Ichhra, Moon Market, MM Alam Road, Gulberg’s Main and Mini Markets and Islampura, are offering clothes, shoes, bangles, henna, cosmetics and jewellery among other Eid collections. Stalls of henna and bangles have been set up in almost all the markets.

However, shoppers The Express Tribune spoke to complained of high prices.

They said many shopkeepers had created an ‘artificial’ price hike and were charging customers at will.



“Everyone wants to shop according to their choice but high prices keep them from doing so,” said Abdul Waheed who had come to Kareem Market to buy shoes from a stall. “I did not have any option but to buy [shoes from the stall],” he said.

Hafiz Kareem, a shopkeeper at Liberty Market, said business had been good over the last couple of days. “I hope to make good money this Eid.”

Kareem said the cost of production had gone up and that was prices of various items had risen.

Crime

The crime rate has gone up in the city with police saying that they have registered 56 cases of robbery over the last five days.

Lahore Poilce, meanwhile, said stringent security arrangements had been made ahead of Eid. In addition to regular police officials, plainclothesmen and policewomen have been deployed at markets across the city.

Police say patrolling of markets and shopping malls has been enhanced. CCTV cameras have also been installed at many bazaars and parks.

City Traffic Police, too, have made a plan to avoid traffic jams at commercial areas on Eid holidays.

Overcharging

Each year, there are numerous complaints about transporters overcharging those going to their hometowns to celebrate Eid with their loved ones.

Chief Traffic Officer Tayyab Hafeez Cheema said that in order to prevent a similar situation this year, he had ordered a crack down on the transporters overcharging passengers. He said two traffic wardens and a senior officer had been tasked with inspecting bus terminals and check fares until chand raat. “Strict action will be taken against the transporters found overcharging,” he said.

Cheema said a campaign would be launched motorcycle riders found doing wheelies on Eid holidays.

Meanwhile, commuters complain about that the number of buses is also not sufficient to cater to the demand.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2015. 

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