Dampened festive spirit in Vijayawada

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Vijaywada:  It is just a week to go for Diwali but the shopping malls in Vijayawada, the commercial capital of Andhra Pradesh, wear a deserted look. With the city and Krishna district still to recover from the worst floods in 10000 years, there is no cheer this festival season.

Keeping with the spirit of giving that symbolizes Diwali, locals have cut down on Diwali expenses and donated money to flood victims instead.

Vijayawada by virtue of being located in the heart of coastal Andhra, attracts customers from all neighbouring districts. But with Krishna and Guntur badly hit by floods, the city's malls are not being patronised by its rural clientele.

Sanjatha a proprietor at Kalaniketan says, "We have customers coming in from in and around Vijayawada, mostly from the farming sector. This year because of the floods most farmers are hit and that's why we don't have customers even though Diwali is very near."

Showroom proprietors say they are the indirect victims of the floods, making it a black Diwali for them as well.

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