Post cyclone Fani, traders on Puri beach stare at uncertain future

Puri: Hundreds of small traders, who had a thriving business along the Puri beach, now stare at an uncertain future as the massive devastation caused by cyclone Fani has resulted in a sharp drop in the number of tourists to the pilgrim city.

“There is no market now near the beach, which speaks volumes about the destruction,” said a tourist.

The Puri beach which used to bustle with activity round-the-clock is completely deserted now and hundreds of traders now feel robbed off their livelihood.

The surging tidal waves during the cyclone caused massive damage to several makeshift shops and the whole market area along the beach now looks like a barren stretch of sand.

“As no tourists are coming, our business has been adversely hit,” said a trader.

The scenes of destruction are no different at the market near Swargadwara. Be it the small traders selling several decorative items made of sea-shells or those who offered camel rides or the ones who captured the unforgettable memories for the tourists in their cameras, every single business has been affected.

“All our articles got destroyed during the cyclone. We are now trying to pick up the pieces to make both ends meet,” said another trader.

Echoing similar concerns, another trader said “As hoteliers have stopped taking bookings, there is fall in the number of tourists in Puri which has affected our business.”