TIRUCHY: The district administration’s recent announcement of limiting the devotee’s arrival for the Chithirai festival in temples across the district has shattered the hopes of hundreds of traders and street vendors near the temple to stabilize the financial burden caused during the last year’s lockdown.
Speaking to TNIE, Kaliyaperumal, a trader from Samayapuram, said that the Poochorithal and Chithirai temple car festival are the prime festival in Samayapuram Mariamman temple, that would witness lakhs of devotees coming to temple. All traders and street vendors would take debt even under the terms of daily interest to setup shops near the temple during the festival.
“Despite being in a massive debt caused due to last year lockdown, the traders and vendors took loans and had set up shops in the Samayapuram area believing that they can make good profit this year. But with the second wave of Covid-19 intensifying, the State government has announced restrictions to limit the crowded arrival to Chitirai festival and has cancelled the temple car festival,” Kaliyaperumal said.
“The people’s arrival to temple is restricted to just 300 per hour. Only 3,000 to 4,000 people would arrive during the festival now. So, it will be impossible for us to get a decent business to even pay interest for the loans,” said a street vendor from Samayapuram.
Rajendran, another trader from Tiruchy said, “Owing to the second wave of Covid-19, all the temples have restricted devotees from bringing pooja items which left hundreds of small shops located near the major temples without any business.” He requested the department concerned to at least allow the people to take Pooja items to temples so that small traders could get a life.