Tirupati: Containment Zone rules badly hit chat vendors

Containment Zone rules badly hit chat vendors
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 Containment Zone rules badly hit chat vendors

Highlights

  • More than 1,000 chat and panipuri sellers lose their livelihood for the last two months due to restricted business hours
  • As the chat business starts in evening hours, all these small vendors are suffering from restrictions
  • Appeals to govt to at least permit the business in take away mode

Tirupati: Due to surge in corona cases since last two months, the MCT officials and police have been implementing strict rules in containment zones across the city and the restrictions imposed over business hours badly impacting lower income groups like chat and panipuri sellers. It may be noted that till August 15, vendors were allowed to do business till 2 pm in the afternoon. Later they extended up to 5pm every day.

Particularly these timings are not useful to do business for panipuri and chat vendors. Usually their business hours will start in from 5 pm to 9 pm. Hence, all the small vendors are suffering from restrictions. Except evening business, the remaining all traders are running every day without any obstructions.

Most of the panipuri and chat shop owners and workers belong to north states like UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and Rajasthan and are very small income groups depending for survival on their daily business income.

For the last two months, the 1,000 chat vendors are living without any business and struggling to meet their family needs and other expenditure. Few workers families are literally begging for bread on roads with their children.

It's a very pathetic situation, nobody takes care of them, either officials or politicians have not responded over their problems so far. Few of the workers are going to other works as daily labour and few settled in watchman jobs at apartments.

In the city, TK street, Tilak Road, Gandhi Road, University Road, Airbypass Road, Balaji Colony, VV Mahal Road and Kapila Theertham Road are famous for chaat businesses. Now, they all are struggling for existence and looking for government aid.

Speaking to The Hans India, a chat seller P Aanand from Bihar, who was settled in Tirupati, says "Now, our situation is very pitiable as no one looking towards our problems. As many of them are not having ration cards, we are not getting even government free rice and other benefits announced under pandemic situation.

Besides losing our daily income, we are presently facing tough situation to survive without business here. We are requesting the officials at least to allow the panipuri and other masala chats food business in take away mode."

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