ISLAMABAD  – A large number of people thronged markets of the federal capital to give last minute touch to their preparations as the Ramazan is about to say adieu and long awaited Eid-ul-Fitr is approaching with all its attractions.

The shopping spree peaked during the last weekend of Ramazan followed by Saturday and Sunday as children and women remained busy in buying their accessories matching with their Eid dresses including shoes, jewellery etc. Markets seemed crowded from morning till late night as majority of the people visit markets sparing time from their daily routine.

Huge rush of vehicles also caused problems for commuters as long queues of vehicles block the road especially after Iftar. Mostly the shops of children garments and shoes were seen over crowded as majority of the children seemed busy in shopping with their parents.

Besides rush on bangles, henna, jewellery and beauty saloons, women were also seen busy in shopping of groceries for cooking delicious food to celebrate festival of Eid. Commuters also complained of inadequate parking facilities in markets as the shopkeepers encroaches area outside shops to set up stalls including Mehndi, Bangles, jewellery, shoes etc. to attract customers.

“I am searching for a place to park my car for last half an hour but could not get it as the over crowded markets and stalls set up by shopkeepers left no place for parking”, said Kamran who came with his family at Jinnah Super market.

Every year people face parking problem at Eid but the concerned authorities have not taken any steps to address this problem, he said.

“Eid-ul-Fitr is a gift for Muslims after fasting the whole month of Ramazan and the festival came after 10 months of Eid-ul-Azha so people are over enthusiastic to celebrate it but every year people face same problems of traffic blocks and lack of parking”, Shahid another visitor said.

He suggested that more police cops should be assigned on Eid to control rush and ensure smooth flow of traffic but unfortunately the required numbers of police is not assigned during these days.

Meanwhile,  sweets and cakes makers in twin cities of Islamabad Rawalpindi are enjoying the Eid season as their sales have gone up to more than 60 percent compared to normal days.

Sweet and cakes makers while talking to APP said that after a little halt in sale of sweets due to Ramazan, they have had a positive response from citizens, which-according to them-was not expected on the eve of Eid. A random survey of city sweet shops revealed that although the rates are high too (average Rs 360-380 per kg at most city shops), but the number of buyers is much more than last year.

Shoppers are heading towards sweets shops in city as exchange of sweets a usual practice at Eid Al Fitr holidays. According to Zeeshan Ali, an owner of a well-known sweets shop said that there was a sharp surge in the sale of sweets from 26th Ramaza.

“Companies, hotels and residents had already started placing orders for Eid sweets as early as the start of last ashra of Ramazan,” he informed. “Our branches around the city have recorded a 60 percent increase in sales. We have to cater to a large number of clients who have booked their orders in advance for Eid. We have been receiving the orders since the start of last ashura of the  holy month of Ramazan. Among our clients are five-star hotels, communication companies, banks and others who want to offer sweets to their employees and special customers,” Zeeshan said.

Chocolate, tuti fruity, desi and so many other flavored sweets, especially patisa and gulab jamun topped the orders list. Citizens tend to celebrate Eid Al Fitr, the feast that marks the end of Ramadan, with a variety of delicious desserts.

The tradition is to prepare homemade sweets to share with friends and neighbours, but lately, most people prefer to buy confections from reputed shops. “There are many shops that make sweets to cater to the needs of the people during the festive period,” Malik Amir, a restaurant owner, who supplies homemade sweets to some small stores said. “Many people prefer to buy from reputed shops because they prepare confections that are better than the homemade ones,” he added.