The sharp downpours over the past two days have become quite troublesome for roadside hawkers in the city. Though most hawkers opened shop on Friday, the number of customers was not encouraging and many closed their establishments early.
Shops selling fast food found the going especially tough. Mohammad Zahid, the owner of A.S.R. Vaniyambadi Biriyani shop in the Moore Market in Park Town, pointed out that shops such as his where many people sat outside and ate suffered the most. “I usually sell about five kilograms of biriyani daily but for the past two days I have barely managed to sell three kg,” he said. The fact that the Chennai Corporation does not let them put out any rain shelters for the people only compounds the problem, he complained.Roadside shops along V.P. Hall Compound Road that specialise in the sales of mobile phones also endured the impact of the rain. “We have had no customers for the past two days,” said M. Velu, one of the shopkeepers who had made sure his products were safe inside plastic covers. He added that a few of his fellow vendors on the street had not even turned up. Most of the shops on that line manage to sell products worth Rs. 6000-7000 on a daily basis.
Fruit vendors were not spared either. M. Murthy, a vendor selling bananas, complained of very ‘dull sales’. “I used to sell about bananas worth Rs. 2000 every day. Now the sales have halved,” he said. R. Nadan, who sells boiled peanuts, raw mango, and Kallaka, echoed his concerns. “This year has been worse than the previous one. Revenue has come down by 75%.