Aurangabad, March 17:
Last year, the Covid-19 had dampened the Holi celebrations in the city. This had affected the Rangpanchami business by about 20 to 25 per cent. As the covid cases are again on the rise, traders fear that the sales this year might again plummet.
The coronavirus scare had dampened the spirit of Holi as the sales of colours and water guns had reduced considerably in the markets last year. Traders now believe that the fear of coronavirus might again lead to a decline in sales of Holi colours and other products. Speaking to this newspaper, trader Sumit Bora said, "We have ordered colours from Delhi and the northern states. Wholesale purchase of colours is done three-four months before Rangpanchami. When the orders were placed, the corona havoc had abated and by the time of Rangpanchami, it was expected that the fear among people would be greatly reduced and the celebrations would be in full swing. But now we are worried about whether citizens will celebrate the festival or not. Traders are sceptical that the weekend lockdown will further affect business.
Colour rates increased
Rising petrol and diesel prices have pushed up transportation costs. Also, the number of workers in the colour factories has come down to only 30 to 35 per cent as the artisans have gone to their respective villages. It also reduced the production of dyes. This has resulted in an increase in the rate of colour.