Rawalpindi -  With increase in chill, a large number of city dwellers have been witnessed thronging Landa bazars set up at Raja Bazar and Saddar of Rawalpindi.

A market survey reveals that shoppers, majority of them, women were busy buying second-hand items. They were checking out cardigans, sweaters, jackets and socks, caps, mufflers and gloves for their minors. With temperature dipping down with each passing day particularly after this year’s first winter rainfall in twin cities on Tuesday, Rawalpindi and Islamabad and snowfall over the hills, the sale of warm clothes, especially imported from China is registering enormous surge in the Sunday bazars of the town.

Cold and chilly weather especially at night of last week forced the people to buy winter clothes and other necessary items to bear the sudden wave of coldness in the town.

All kinds of wears and accessories including gloves, woolen hats, mufflers, pullovers, sweater-shirts and jackets are seen hanging in front of shops and stalls of weekly bazars, attracting the customers.

Heaps of second-hand quilts, blankets and rugs are up for sale in the weekly markets of Rawalpindi. People, both poor and middle class can be seen bargaining with retailers in markets and weekly bazars, besides woolies, heaps of quilts, bed covers, blankets and rugs are up for sale as well. “There is no other option except to buy winter clothes, when the cold and chilly breeze of Muree and Margala Hills is in full swing,” Hanif, a resident of Shamsaabad said.

 “Sale of winter clothes is going on as usual,” said Altaf, a stall holder at Saddar Bazaar. To a query about the average sale of winter clothes, he said that owing to very high prices, people were reluctant to buy clothes. “However the cold wave that gripped the city few days back forced the people to buy winter clothes and blankets for themselves,” he added.

He said: “We have no other option to sale clothes on high rates because we have bought them on high prices. Almost twenty to fifty percent rise is observed in prices of winter clothes compared to last year”.

The vendors and dealers are doing brisk business as nowadays the demand of their clothes has increased manifold. “Our business is going very well though it is the start but it will gain more momentum with some rains,” said Naveed, a shopkeeper at Saddar Bazar.

“Winter season always brings hardships for poor,” said Fasial, a customer belonging to middle class. Chinese garments have replaced local items: People throng bazars where besides local and `Landa’ clothing, Chinese wears can be seen hanging in front of shops.

Many people in all these bazars on Sunday claimed that every year second-hand clothes shops were decreasing as the Chinese manufactured clothes were replacing them. “The Chinese clothes are now in greater abundance than the `Lunda’ items,” commented Hamid who was busy while selecting a sweater in a second hand shop at Railway Road Bazaar.

He said nowadays, with rampant consumerism, the rich had too many clothes and the poor had hardly enough to cover themselves with. “Thanks to the Landa Bazars, poor people can buy imported second-hand clothing on reasonable quality to mitigate the hardships of winter. But now time has come when even that is beyond their means,” he maintained.

Some people complained that Chinese clothes this year were costly as compared to last year. “I have bought a jacket of the same kind at Rs800 last year, while I have paid Rs1,200 to the shopkeeper after a lot of arguments,” a customer said after buying a Chinese jacket.