All activities, except voting, seems to have come to a standstill in the city on Wednesday. The holiday declared on polling day was complete with the usual hustle and bustle missing from the roads. Almost all eateries, including small sized hotels, canteens, tiffin centres and even roadside ‘bandis’ did not serve food.

Multiplexes didn’t screen movies while malls and commercial complexes downed their shutters. Getting cabs, autos, and RTC buses was not easy.

Even petrol bunk operators decided to stop services to allow their employees to go out and vote.

“It is quite rare to see so many commercial establishments shutting down on Election Commission instructions to facilitate voting. We could not find a proper place to eat anywhere in Himayathnagar, as almost all the eateries here were closed. It’s encouraging to find such interest for voting among everybody,” says Abraham Cherian Rajesh, a Vithalwadi resident.

Shops and commercial establishments located along the thoroughfares of Secunderabad, Paradise, M.G. Road, Begumpet, Somajiguda, Banjara and Jubilee Hills and Madhapur were empty. “Polling booths were the only places that were crowded while the rest of the establishments and government offices were empty . Even small shops located around the corner in localities were closed. By evening, a few shops in colonies started to reopen,” said K Sangeetha, a resident of Mallapur.

Some Irani ‘chai’ hotels, however, remained open to offer basic services. Shutters were opened only towards the evenings by many eateries. Movies halls and malls too were back in business after 6 p.m. when the polling process was complete as traffic also gradually picked up.