Sudipto Mondal

MANGALORE: After a six-month draught, it is raining customers for shop owners along the Jyoti-Balmatta Main Road.

The newly constructed four-lane concrete road has brought smiles on shop owners’ faces here. The road was closed between September 2007 and February 2008 for improvement.

Restaurants, which had pulled down their shutters, are back in blossom. Speaking to The Hindu the manager of a restaurant, on the condition of anonymity, said he was a relieved man. The waiters and the other temporary staff were the worst hit during the close-down, he said.

Reginald Roche, owner of a two-wheeler spare parts shop, said that sales had hit a new high. “There is a 10 per cent increase in the business compared to the period before the closure,” he said.

Naveen D’Costa, store manager of a jewellery shop, said that sales were not back to original levels. But he is ecstatic about the completion of the road. The development took heavy toll of some businessmen, especially the small and medium enterprises. Manohar Shetty, owner of a photocopying shop, said: “Bulk of my business comes from clinics here. But patients stopped coming to clinics and in turn my business almost stopped.”

But everybody seems to be happy with the completion of the road and their memory of the hardship seems to have died out.