Small-scale food outlets say most of their business happens after 10 p.m..
| Photo Credit: Representational photo
Around 10.30 p.m., the sound of the police siren begins at a distance near the suspension bridge on Durgam Cheruvu. “Aaa gaye ye log (these people have come),” says a man waiting for his cup of tea near the stretch of the road parallel to ITC Kohenur. As the patrol vehicle approaches, the makeshift shops close and hungry workers from the nearby areas disperse.
At the other end of the city, the bustling heart of Hyderabad at Charminar is also being shuttered much before 11 p.m. as part of the election code. “This is hurting our business. What do we do with the leftover food? A lot of workers are unable to find food after 11 p.m., so do our regular late-night clientele,” says Mohammed Majeed of Pista House. A student from Tarnaka says they used to get food delivered with one app or the other till 3 a.m.. “Now, we cannot get any food delivered after midnight.”
For businesses, it is a double whammy as the transport of the day’s collection has also run into problem due to the checks for cash by election and police officials.
“Our business has been badly affected for the past one month. People come here to relax and have a cup of tea after dinner; some have snacks. Now, however, we are being forced to close much before 11 p.m., despite the fact that most of our business happens after 10 p.m.. We are waiting for the elections to end,” says Kareem, who runs a tea kiosk on the outer periphery of Kasu Brahmananda Reddy (KBR) National Park.
Areas near Mallepally Masjid, Gudimalkapur, Yousufain Dargah, Malakpet, Secunderabad railway station, HiTec City metro station, DLF Food Street and other areas, where food outlets function into the wee hours, have been similarly impacted.
The restaurants in the inner parts of the city, however, have found a workaround, with the customers being asked to park their vehicles at a distance. They then enter the restaurant on the sly and leave similarly. “I was at a restaurant in Paramount Colony at 11.15 p.m. They are operating behind closed shutters,” said a diner unwilling to reveal the location of the food outlet.