People on Wednesday evening thronged the markets in summer capital as shops opened at 5 pm as per the relaxation in shutdown announced by joint resistance leadership.
During the relaxation, shopkeepers, street vendors and other business establishments witnessed brisk business. Massive traffic jams were witnessed in city centre.
During the ongoing unrest, it was second time that markets re-opened at 5 pm, as otherwise separatist leaders had been announcing relaxation from 6 pm in their weekly protest calendars. The first time when separatist leadership had called relaxation from 5pm was on October 1.
On September 26, the pro-freedom leaders had announced relaxation during the day from 2 pm. It was after 78 days that city markets had re-opened during the day.
Most of the shopkeepers had arrived around 4 pm today while street vendors also started preparations to set up their stall around 4:30 pm.
People had also thronged the markets, waiting for shops to open. The number of pedestrians and private vehicles increased after 5 pm at Lal Chowk, Hari Singh High Street, Jahangir Chowk, MA Road, residency road, Regal Chowk, Polo View, Dalgate, Sonwar, Pantha Chowk, Habba Kadal, Fateh Kadal, Rambagh, Sanat Nagar, Jawahar Nagar, Rajbagh, Bemina, Qamarwari, HMT and other places. Traffic police was also on roads to regulate the rush of traffic.
"People are largely now asking for winter products. Some ask for winter electronic gadgets while some ask for winter clothes," said Muneer Ahmad, a shopkeeper at Polo View.
However, shoppers complained that not every product they look for is not available on the market. "Shopkeepers are telling us that fresh consignments are yet to reach. They have been telling it from past three weeks. Hope, next time they wouldn't disappoint us," said Hilal Ahmad, a shopper at Hari Singh High Street.
The normal routine for shopkeepers and their salesmen used to be to work during day, usually from 10 am to 6 pm. However, in ongoing unrest they are gradually becoming habitual of new schedule.
"Now, the routine has changed. We spend day at home and start preparations to reach shops in the evening around 4pm," said Tufail Ahmad, a salesman at Regal Chowk.
The markets also re-opened in Shaher-e-Khaas in evening and people went shopping. As the number of pedestrians and private vehicles increased with clock ticking to 5 pm, city witnessed massive traffic jam.
Hundreds of vehicles were stuck in gridlock traffic jam till late evening. The massive traffic jam was witnessed at Rambagh, Jawahar Nagar, Jahangir Chowk, Dalgate and its adjacent areas.
The considerable flow of private transport was also witnessed in areas of Pantha Chowk, Batwara, Shivpora, Rajbagh and Dalgate in the evening hours.
The markets wore increased festive look, first time as compared to past relaxations.
Meanwhile, during the day, complete shutdown was observed in Srinagar on consecutive 89th day. Offices, shops, educational institutions and petrol pumps remained closed while public transport was off the roads. Students of class 12 and class 10 staged separate protests, demanding deferment of exams and justice to the students injured in forces action.
During the day, there was considerable movement of private transport on city roads including Lal Chowk.