Abhijit Dev Kumar
Hyderabad: Life at the famous Laad bazaar in Charminar has slowed down, literally! With the ongoing Charminar Pedestrianisation Project, the road from Laad Bazaar to Hussani Alam has been blocked and traders are crying foul as their livelihood has been hit.
For five-year-old Ali, the cement ducts blocking the way to Laad Bazaar have become a place where he plays during the day. Seated on one of the ducts, he waves out to a couple in a car and says, “Rasta bandh hai” (the road is closed).
The lane used to be full of people who thronged to buy bangles but now it sports a deserted look.
Traders along the stretch sit in their shops behind glittering bangles, looking gloomy and tense.
They stare at the patch of the road that was dug up for the underground cabling works, left that way a few days ago by labourers.
“We want the authorities concerned to get the work done as quickly as possible. They can finish of a segment and then cover it up immediately before moving on to the next part of the road,” suggests M. Tahir, secretary of the Laad Bazaar merchants association. He looks at the dug up patch of the street and sighs, “Business has been hit real hard and there is nothing we can do about it.
We have made many representations to the authorities concerned who assured that the work will be completed soon,” he adds.
Like Mr. Tahir, traders in the area say that since the roads to the ‘world famous’ market have been blocked, the area is seeing less foreigners, who happen to be a major source of their income.
Traffic constables are seen having a tough time handling autos which are parked near the road block.
“The area has become a parking zone for autowallas,” fumes a traffic constable. “They are not only blocking the narrow passage around Charminar, but also causing traffic jams in the area,” he says.