Hyderabad: If the other parts of the twin cities remained shut on Tuesday, Old City, MIM stronghold, people went about their business oblivious of the bandh. That it wasn’t a normal weekday was only evident from the dip in tourist footfall in this part of Hyderabad. The otherwise crowded Charminar and Lad Bazaar, which are forever bustling with tourists, remained deserted with only few locals venturing out to make some purchases. Almost all the shops on the Pathergatti-Madina stretch, also a hub for shoppers who drop by from all over the city apart from tourists, received no customers.
Officials of Archeological Survey of India, which is the custodian of Charminar, said that the number of visitors on Tuesday dwindled to less than one-fourth the normal figure. “With no public transportation, Charminar had just 1,934 visitors as against the average 6,000,” said an official.
It was the same at Chowmahalla Palace, Salar Jung Museum, Nizam’s Museum and Mecca Masjid, which are must see places for tourists visiting the city of Nizams. The authorities at these places, who were counting on their losses, said that they were expecting a similar situation even on Wednesday. Except petrol pumps, all the markets, eateries and other business establishments remained open here on Tuesday.
“MIM dictates the rules here. Even if we want to shut the shops expecting no customers, we cannot. For, it will give an impression that we are opposing the party’s decisions,” said a trader in Madina. Other traders said that they were in a peculiar situation. “We are not observing the bandh but the impact is the same. These repeated bandhs are making a dent in our pockets. The whole market is suffering because of this by losing almost a crore in one day. The hawkers who make a livelihood from their daily income are the worst sufferers,” said a jewellery store owner near Charminar. A large number of people who depend on public transportation to commute to distant areas had no way but to stay back home. While colleges remained shut, some local schools, which were open reported marginal attendance.
Old City traders extending up to Afzalgunj were patiently waiting for customers but stores at Osmangunj and Abids were shut. TOI