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Thousands throng Uzanbazar Fish Market on ‘Uruka’, COVID no dampener

GUWAHATI: Guwahatians this year from celebrating Magh Bihu wholeheartedly in spite of the shadow of the COVID-19 that still looms large, with several countries re-imposing lockdown in view of a new variant of the deadly virus. Inside Northeast reached the famous Uzanbazar Fish Market in Guwahati located along the banks of the Brahmaputra that brims with life on the day of Uruka, as a wide array of fish fresh from the waters are sold here.

Notably, this Bihu would be the first that the people of Assam will be celebrating amid less stringent COVID-19 protocols. Last year’s Bihu was held amid the strict nationwide lockdown that saw over 1 billion Indians being locked inside to arrest the spread of the disease.

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“Last few festivals went amid restrictions due to lockdown. Now that people are coming out this time, we are hopeful,” a fish seller at the ghat told us.

Another fish seller who had come all the way from Mukalmua, Nalbari, to the Uzanbazar Fish Market, said, “We are still incurring losses. We have come so far, and do not even know how much profit we are going to make.”

“I have been visiting this market since 1998. This place has grown by leaps and bounds, but I can see that this year it’s very unorganized,’’ a buyer visiting the market informed Inside Northeast, adding, “This year I have found that prices are lesser than previous years.”

Apart from the usual staple of fish, ducks, and chicken, a few local vendors from the surrounding rural areas of Kamrup (M) also reached to put up their small stalls of traditional Assamese sweets made of coconut, sesame, puffed rice, sticky rice in bamboos, curd, cream, flat rice, jaggery, etc. The dealers informed us that the sales were “reasonable” this time around.

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