CIDCO's Urban Haat: Artisans upset over low footfall

Artisans who have come from different states to participate in the handloom and handicraft exhibition and sale at the Urban Haat are annoyed with the lukewarm response from people this year

The participants in CIDCO’s ongoing handloom and handicraft exhibition and sale at Belapur are quite disappointed. The artisans, who have come from across the country and rented the place to display and sell their creations there, are unhappy with the lukewarm response they are getting from people.

The Urban Haat exhibition-cum-sale centre looks almost deserted
The Urban Haat exhibition-cum-sale centre looks almost deserted

The town-planning agency had constructed the Urban Haat, exhibition-cum-sale centre, in 2009 at Rs 2 crore to promote indigenous artwork. Many of the artisans at the exhibition that began on January 4, revealed that they will not even be able to recover their travelling expenses as they hardly see any people at the centre.

Some of the items on sale include Rajasthani artworks, Warli paintings, Banarasi sarees, etc. “We have been displaying our products from January 4 and the response is too low this time. We have come from Banaras and till now we have barely managed to recover our logistical expenses.

With the exhibition ending on February 1, we are finding it difficult to achieve our target profit,” said Munna Sheikh, an artisan. Artisans alleged that lack of advertising by CIDCO has failed to attract crowds at the exhibition. Tapan Roy, a proprietor from Kolkata, said, “I have a display of accessories made of jute.

However, in the past 10 days I have managed to earn comparatively less than what I earn in other parts of the country. The response of the people is less here. Had CIDCO displayed ads across the city, the response would have been much better.”

Craftsmen revealed that they pay a rent of R400 per day to the town-planning agency for showcasing their products at the centre. Mohan Ninawe, PRO CIDCO, said, “Usually there are few people during the weekdays. However, not many people here are fond of such events. It will take time for people to indulge in the trend of visiting such fairs.”

The people who do visit, often find it difficult to park vehicles around the centre as it is situated at the corner of a busy junction. “There is a parking facility at the Urban Haat, however it is far behind from the entrance.

Usually motorists get confused after reaching the centre, as it is on a hillock and not clearly visible from the road due to the thick trees,” said Milind Mhatre, a Panvel resident.

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