BARGARH : Unprecedented rains over the last 48 hours has dampened the festive mood for the 76th edition of Dhanuyatra festival in Bargarh, which has witnessed a noticeable drop in footfall in the last two days.
The Pallishree and Handicraft Mela organised in the field under the Jeera bridge was the first to be hit by the rainfall. Due to the incessant downpour that began on Monday night, water entered into almost every tent damaging a large amount of stocks kept in them, rendering heavy losses to SHGs and small vendors.
Sources said though the rain subsided by Tuesday afternoon, the unfavourable weather kept potential customers away from the venue that is located on the outskirts of the town.
Reportedly till 2020, the Pallishree Mela of the ORMAS and the Handicraft Expo was organised at the George High School Field, located in the heart of Bargarh town. Though the expo was shifted near Jeera Bridge last year to avoid traffic congestion in the main road, vendors were not happy with the decision. To add to their woes, the situation this year is likely to impact the decision of the vendors of coming to the festival this year as they allege the district administration and organising committee paid no heed to their issues.
Meanwhile, another fair Meena Bazar which is a crucial aspect of the festival and is being organised at the George High School field, was also hit by the rainfall as most parts of the field remained waterlogged on Wednesday morning due to the downpour that continued all through the night.
After repeated complaints from vendors, water was drained from the venue in the afternoon but that has not prevented the fairgrounds from becoming muddy patches making it difficult for vendors and visitors to navigate the areas.
Similarly, the open-air stages, which typically draw large crowds, are experiencing a significant decrease in attendance. The spectacle of the epic drama at the Raj Durbar, which usually draws large number of people, also witnessed a smaller and less-engaged audience due to the persistent rain on Tuesday and Wednesday.