HYDERABAD: As Ramzan hits the 15-day mark and footfall near Charminar has peaked, tourists and non-locals visiting the monument are hailing the Charminar Pedestrian Project as a welcome change. “Charminar has been saved from pollution,” said Saibal Sarkar, a banker by profession and a resident of Barkatpura.
“There’s harmony around the place and it’s easier to go around walking,” he added.
Locals as well as non-locals could be seen indulging in some quick shopping without the constant hustle of traffic behind their shoulders, or enjoying a cup of chai at ease. Take for instance the Nimrah Bakery, which has installed extra tables in front of their shop where one can stand and enjoy a cup of tea with the Charminar background.
However, Saibal contended that there is a major parking problem now. “I had a hard time parking my two-wheeler when I went there last Friday. Now, I will be taking an auto to travel there.”
On the other hand, as Express had reported earlier, the closure of roads around Charminar owing to the CPP project, has led to a dip in the business for both permanent shopkeepers and vendors around the area.
However, many had thought that things would turn brighter with Ramzan but till now it’s more or less the same.
Hanif Ahmed, a bangle seller who has a permanent shop beside Nimrah Bakery, said, “Locals driving by used to buy jewelleries in bulk, haul it in their vans and then drive on. Now, that has entirely stopped and has been replaced by tourists who seldom buy things.”
Similarly, Abdul, a bangle vendor who placed his kiosk right in front of the monument, said, “Business is sluggish now as compared to last year. Earlier, motorcycle borne locals with their families used to be our main customers. That has stopped entirely now.” However he was hopeful that during the last week of Ramzan, there would be more business.
Owner of a cigarette shop beside Nimrah, reiterating the same, said there been a change in and around Charminar because of CPP. “But it doesn’t matter unless there’s business,” he added.