Hyderabad: Although neither the GHMC nor the traffic police has officially announced any relaxation in hawking policies near the Charminar, they do seem to be going easy on vendors on account of Ramzan. As a result, hawkers seem to have gathered in large numbers in the open spaces around the historic monument. Furthermore, they have grabbed even its buffer zone and have not been one bit hesitant in using the railings of the monument to display their items.
Irked visitors lamented that they had never seen the streets so dirty. Apparently, fruit sellers and hawkers have been disposing of rotten fruits and waste material at the site at the end of every day, thereby causing a stench which is further compounded by the rain.
The GHMC has arranged special sanitation vehicles and teams to collect garbage from all locations on a daily basis during the month, and special teams have been deployed for the same in the Macca Masjid and the Charminar.
According to our sources, the GHMC staff has been attempting to clear the garbage around Charminar twice every day. However, the overcrowding in the area seems to have intensified the challenge a fair amount. Garbage bins have been installed, albeit insufficient, but vendors do not use them anyway. As a result, it has been observed that around 40 metric tonnes of waste (above the existing quantum) is generated in the Charminar zone during the month of Ramzan every year.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Traffic (II) Babu Rao said that hawkers would be allowed to operate along the stretch from Madina to Shalibanda road during the holy month. “We have been deploying more police to control the traffic in the area. And although we haven’t imposed any restrictions on the movement of vehicles in the Old city at this point, we shall close the road around the Madina circle for vehicles during the last month of Ramzan so as to enable shoppers to walk about without any problems.”
Another concern for morning walkers has been the biker youths speeding past the streets near Charminar, especially on Sunday mornings when they are seen riding triple-seat, hooting, and sometimes even harassing women and ragging pedestrians.
People from far-flung areas of the twin cities have been observed to visit the Old City to celebrate Ramadan and leave only after pre-dawn and morning prayers. Owing to this, an increasing number of youths is seen hanging outdoors throughout the night, sometimes in large groups, many of whom have been noted to create a nuisance for passersby.
Mr Azeemuddin of Shalibanda said that although large groups of people were noted to gather around the Charminar during Ramzan, locals comprised only a small proportion of this crowd. And while many youngsters are found loafing about at eateries near the Charminar even at midnight, the police arrives to disperse them around 1 am.