No Cheering: Before Diwali, Delhi’s Flower Market Doesn’t Bloom | Delhi News

NEW DELHI: Diwali is just around the corner, and there’s activity involving marigold flowers at the Ghazipur flower market. But unfortunately, a lot of it is about picking up bags of rotten flowers and throwing them at a rate that will be swept away to be disposed of. Recent rains had damaged unsold stocks. But that was just another problem. Sellers have complained that business has been poor, with stocks simply not moving because the festive season has been low key and Diwali also appears to be a muted affair.
On Friday mornings, when TOI was at the flower market, buying and selling was at a minimum. Sullen stall owners said that had been the situation since the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting restriction had dampened any festive enthusiasm. Meena, who has been selling marigolds there for four months, said, “I just can’t get more than 5 rupees per kilo of marigold heads,” she said. “Even today no sales have taken place and by tomorrow I will have to throw away the flowers as the marigold has a short shelf life.”
Rizwan sources marigolds from his home district of Sambhal in UP. “I paid Rs 3,200 for the flowers and Rs 5,000 for the transport and asked seven men to tear off the heads. I can’t sell more than 12 wicks a day,” he grumbled. “I had acquired land for a lakh of rupees to grow marigolds. I have to support a family of nine but I don’t even have money to go home.
Like Rizwan, Surendra Kumar also has more flowers on hand than requested. In his flower market shop, Kumar sat, frowning. “We’re throwing away the genda because there aren’t too many transactions going on,” he said. “The situation was slightly better during Navratri, but the price went down after that. The three days of rain also caused us a lot of damage at a time when there were no sales. So, in addition to paying flower growers and transporters, we now have to pay to get rid of rotten flowers. We lose about Rs 1,000 on each bag of marigold.
Mukesh Yadav added: “We throw away quintals of genda every day. We can only hope that the price rises to Rs 20-30 per kilo in the coming days. With puja now mostly for the home, shoppers just want a pound or two of the flowers. People are still not allowed in large temples, so big sales are out of the question. Also, families who lost loved ones in the second wave of Covid infections are not celebrating Diwali or decorating their homes this year.
While many sellers thought sales might pick up closer to Diwali on Nov. 4, others pointed out that it wouldn’t make any difference to their bottom line as their losses were too big to make up for. The coronavirus-hit firm can only hope to cut its losses even if prices rise. There is no profit margin this year.

Terisa K. Carn