First it was the construction of subways in Connaught Place that led to a huge dip in business, now the removal of air conditioners from the outlets has aggravated the problem. Traders in CP say sales have fallen by 50 per cent as shoppers prefer to take their business elsewhere.
The Regal building in the Outer Circle is the worst hit as apart from the restoration work, the subway construction work is also being carried out.
“The approach to our coffee house was already blocked so people normally didn’t come here. With the ACs removed, sales are almost nil,” said Rakesh Ranjan, assistant manager (operations), Café Coffee day.
“People come to coffee houses to relax while they eat. Why would someone choose to sweat it out and sit here in such humid conditions when they can go to an air-conditioned place elsewhere? We aren’t even allowed to install an air conditioner inside. We keep waiting for customers throughout the day but nobody comes,” said Sahil Sehgal, who works in Barista Lavazza
This is not the first time that traders in CP have been hit by the on-going construction work.
Construction work carried out by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had affected business way back in 2005, as well.
“Business had been affected at that time, too, as it continued for a long time. But at least the work was done in phases so we could recover our losses. With the CP restoration work, it is complete mayhem as everything is being constructed at the same time,” said Atul Bhargava, president of New Delhi Traders Association.