Dilsukhnagar junction was one of the busiest commercial localities in the State capital. That was till terrorists detonated two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) exactly on this day last month.
Four weeks after the twin blasts, the Dilsukhnagar bus stop and the A-1 Mirchi centre – where the two IEDs went off – remain almost deserted even during evening peak hours. The terror attack took away the sheen from this bustling commercial locality.
Normally, traffic crawls on the Dilsukhnagar main road connecting the city with the Vijayawada highway in the morning. Traffic snarls are the order of the day on this stretch, one of the widest roads with sub-roads on either side.
The terror attack changed all that, and traffic was normal on Wednesday evening. “Having opened the shop at 9 a.m., I am seeing the first customer only in the afternoon. My customers dropped almost by 80 per cent,” says K. Arun Kishore. An eyewitness to the blast before Mirchi Centre and owner of a mobile phone shop, Kishore feels that the terrorists not only killed people but also dealt a deadly commercial blow.
Flower vendor K. Lingamaih’s fate too changed for the worse after the blast. He had been selling flowers opposite Mirchi Centre for the past 20 years. “I used to make at least Rs. 500 a day before the blasts. Now, it is not more than Rs. 100 a day,” he says with tears welling in his eyes.
The stretch from Mirchi Centre to Konark theatre used to be occupied completely by vehicles of shoppers, pushcart vendors and hawkers. Even crossing the road used to be a tough task. “You rarely find vehicles parking on this stretch now. Business is completely down, especially during the evening apparently because the blasts occurred during that time,” says Prahlad, owner of Anand Tiffins. The Kalpavally bangle store and Mirchi Centre, which were completely damaged, have not been reopened. “That psychological fear of possible rerun of the blasts is a worrying factor for many of us, and hence most of us are not going out for shopping in the evening,” reasons housewife K. Madhavi living nearby.
Late on Wednesday night, a team of NIA officials examined the two blast sites at Dilsukhnagar and sought details about the incident.