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Vinayaka idol sales hits a low

Chennai,Aug 29 (): Vinayaka idols sales has a hit low as retailers and shopkeepers have put the blame on the restrictions imposed by police and various city enforcement agencies.

Kosapet is the market in the metro where bulk purchase of Vinayaka idols are done. Most of the artisans depend on Kosapet retailers for orders of Vinayaka idols. Vinayaka idols of 11 feet are the worst hit. A retailer who sold 80 Vinayaka idols last year has not reached that figure and has demand for small idols purchased by households to keep it within the premises.

Many of the street mandals that applied for permission from police and city civic bodies had to face strict conditions. Due to this many opted out and Hindu Munnani outfits who applied were denied permission as AIADMK sees this as a political ploy to increase the Hinduvata card in the State. Result was that Vinayaka idols made of clay and used for immersion in the Marina beach had few takers. Last year the demand for plaster of Paris Vinayaka idols was less but this year the demand was more for that variety.

Side accessories like jaggery, pori, palm leaves and fruits that were sold along with Vinayaka idols in markets like Vadapalani and Aminjikarai were so low that only 300 idols were sold while last year it was 1500. In suburbs like Virugambakkam, the sales was even poorer with an average of 50 Vinayaka idols clocking till yesterday.

Police has given permission to install 1800 odd places where it can be put up in public with an additional force deployed to guard these Vinayaka idols. City police are on the toes as the procession carrying the Vinayaka idols to Marina had in the past created communal tension. Now police has restricted use of loudspeakers and given routes that do not cross mosques.