NELLORE: The streets of one of the largest cloth markets in the region wear a deserted look. Even though the lockdown restrictions have been eased to a great extent, business in the 70-year-old Kavali cloth market in Nellore district is yet to pick up pace.
Set up in 1955, the market, which has an annual turnover of `750 crore, employs over 7,000 workers, many of whom tailor a wide variety of clothes. The market is home to 450 wholesale and retail traders who purchase cloth in bulk from Mumbai, Surat, Ahmedabad, Jetpur, Kasi, Kolkata, Erode, Coimbatore and Tirupur.
Merchants not only from Nellore and its surrounding areas, but also from both the Telugu States throng the Kavali cloth market due to sale of a variety of fabrics at reasonable prices. “Even after transportation resumed, we did not receive any orders. Normally, we get orders in bulk from Prakasam and Chittoor districts. During Ramzan, we easily do a business of `20-`30 lakh. However, this was not the case this year,” said K Venkateswarlu, a trader.
Some of the traders say that payments have also been delayed for the stocks delivered before the lockdown. “Traders from both Telugu States have not started visiting the cloth market, even after the ease of lockdown restrictions. Some of the traders say that they are not receiving any order from the retailers in their region.
We had lost around 15-20 per cent of the annual income during the lockdown period,” said another merchant from the cloth market. Meanwhile, AP Textile Association district leaders appealed to the government to announce a special package for the textile industry to overcome the loss. Majority of the workers rely on the industry lost their livelihood for the last two months, they said.