The Charminar monument was closed for the public between November 11 and 13 on instructions of the police

Syed Asad, a petty trader, is anxious over the plunge in his earnings. The disturbances around Charminar have burned a hole in his pocket. Father of three children, Asad earns about Rs. 400 daily by selling purses and bags to tourists.

However, the recent trouble near the monument has affected the flow of tourists and it means no business for him. “There is a 60 per cent drop in the number of visitors to the historic monument. Usually there is a lot of rush during the month of November but it is not so now,” says Mr. Asad.

Most of the traders who depend on local tourists for their livelihood are facing a similar problem. “People are afraid to come to Charminar after getting to know about the trouble here,” says Kishore, who sells ‘samosas’ in the afternoons near the monument. “I used to earn about Rs. 300 every day but I am not able to earn even Rs. 150 now,” he adds.

A couple of hundred petty traders depend on the tourists. Most of them sell ladies accessories, bags, snacks and clothes around the monument and Lal Bazaar. They earn anywhere between Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 a day but have not been able to earn sufficiently in the last few days due to frequent restrictions and trouble reported in the area. “If such a situation continues, we will face difficulty in meeting our household expenses,” fears another trader.

In fact, the Charminar monument was closed for the public between November 11 and 13 on instructions of the police. “As against the usual number of 2,000 to 3,000 tourists a day we are getting only a few hundred now,” says an official.

A few traders who deal in perishable goods have also suffered a loss. Mohammed Yousuf Hussain, a sweet meat shop owner, says “After suffering a loss of Rs. 3,000 due to closure of the market, I am preparing sweets in small quantities. How do you expect us to bear such a huge loss,” says Mr. Yousuf.

Interestingly, tourists places like Golconda Fort, Salar Jung Museum and Nehru Zoological Park remain unaffected by the disturbances. “It is only Charminar that has gained the reputation of notoriety in recent times,” says Qasim Ali, a tourist guide.

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