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The worst-affected roadside eateries during the Covid Lockdown. The coronavirus made us to become beggers as the entire established business gone and the market is completely down, says many roadside food vendors.

The once popular roadside eateries in the city which reopened following the easing of lockdown restrictions have been experiencing hard times with a drastic drop in patronage. Such has been the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the once thriving street food business that most of the road side eateries now lament their helplessness in providing a square meal for their families.

There were times when Hyderabadi’s had breakfast either at the very famous ‘Ram ki Bandi’ or that of any dosa sellar by road would have hoards of people standing to enjoy the South Indian delight in Hyderabad. Not just this but many IT returning employees had that famous Maggie at a random bike Maggie sellar on Madhapur road. Which have resulted in good business for many such vendors, however, as the pandemic is known for the loss given the roadside seller among one, are struggling even after unlock.

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The lockdown had brought their business to a grinding halt but the easing of restrictions is yet to get hungry customers flocking the eateries, most of which operate as food bandis and food trucks. The situation remains the same be it the once bustling eat streets of IT corridor or Ameerpet or Kukatpally. And lost are the scenes of fast food stalls, tiffin and meal spots and tea and coffee kiosks abuzz with customers all-day long.

One of the reasons for lack of patronage these days, points out the owner of an eatery near DLF, Gachibowli, that most people assume that street food business lacks proper hygiene. “Fact is that we always maintain the hygiene but after Covid, our efforts have been doubled,” he says. Apart from disposable plates for food and disposable glasses for water and tea, they have been keeping sanitisers ready for the customers. “Despite all the efforts, our earnings have hit the rock bottom,” he rues.

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According to vendors of food courts near IDL Lake, the earnings have dropped by 80 per cent since the resumption of their business. Earlier, the food courts in the locality were all abuzz with hot sales of idly, dosa, vada, puri, fried rice, pani puri and other items.

Suresh who runs a fast food centre near IDL Lake say their business has been hit badly with customers choosing to stay away from street food. “With no income, it has become difficult to buy even commodities for preparing food. Despite having debts, we are running the food court hoping revival of business,” he says.

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According to him, the situation at all food courts is grim and some of the owners have closed down their stalls due to lack of customers. Unless the IT employees start working from the office and visit them for food and snacks, these eateries will face challenging times.

Raju, owner of a fast food centre in Ameerpet too points out at negative perception on the high risks of Covid-19 at road side eateries. “We are taking all precautions and even adopted physical distancing norms. Utmost priority is being given for hygiene to instill confidence among the public,” he adds. #KhabarLive #hydnews

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