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SNDP drain works put Begumpet businesses in the red

Inordinate delay in the works and traffic restrictions on SD Road have hit businesses, especially restaurants

Inordinate delay in the works and traffic restrictions on SD Road have hit businesses, especially restaurants

For commuters who cross Begumpet regularly, the hassle of traffic snarls is not new. The Strategic Nala Development Programme (SNDP) work at the Picket drain and resultant traffic restrictions made matters worse. While the completion of works on one side of the road has eased the drive towards Secunderabad, the ongoing work at the Karachi Bakery stretch means that commuter woes continue.

Traffic from the CTO junction towards Ameerpet/ Greenlands is still being diverted at Wesley College through Sindhi colony roads. Business owners complain about the lack of clarity in the time frame to complete the work. The first part of the work which was supposed to be completed in 45 days, dragged on for over 90 days.

Though revamping the stormwater drain network in the city is a welcome measure, eateries on the Karachi bakery stretch rue that their business has been adversely affected. Some of the restaurants have no business at all on some days of the week and even on ‘good’ days, they are doing only 20%-30% of their regular business. This is pushing them to consider offering a limited menu to diners. 

Galok Nayak, manager at Tatva fine dining says, “Earlier we were told repair works would take about two months. But in two months, only one side was completed, we are told. Now with the rains, work has been stalled. Our business is down to 0-20%. We have to pay rent and salaries. Also, a running restaurant has to stock up for at least 70% of the dishes whether or not we do business. Our dine-in business is affected more than the business we do with food aggregators.” 

Some ask why GHMC needs to cut off access for a long stretch when the actual work is being done at quite a distance from the eateries. Software employee Ravikant Kumar whose office is on that stretch says, “The continual experimentation of traffic police with roadblocks and U-turns is further adding to our woes.” 

Have the entrepreneurs thought of an alternative? Zubair Mohammed of Hyderabad House mentions they are pushing for in-house delivery, largely because, “With no parking facility near NTR statue circle, food aggregators are cancelling orders during peak hours., “ shares Zubair. My business is down to 30% and we want the possibility of permitting parking where the road won’t be dug for repair work.”

Another business owner from the vicinity says almost every restaurant/food outlet has stationed a person at the roadblocks to inform interested diners about the restaurants being open and not shut.

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