After Naresh Singh left his village in Bihar last year to work as a security guard in Zaveri Bazar, he began each day with a simple breakfast of samosas and tea, at a stall in the area’s famous Khau Galli.
Now, a month after the blast that ripped through the street eateries, Singh’s samosa-wala is no more. And gone with him is the Khau Galli itself.
To ensure security, all of Zaveri Bazar has turned into a barricaded ‘no-hawking; no-parking’ zone, inadvertently leading to the death of one of the most popular street food hubs in the city.
“I didn’t even know the samosas-wala’s name, but I was a regular customer. Now I have to manage my own breakfast from home,” said Singh, 34, who was on duty a few metres away from the blast site on July 13.
Khau Galli, a narrow, crowded by-lane in the interiors of Zaveri Bazar, was known for its savoury masala dosas, sandwiches, chaat, papads and kachoris. With the hawkers cleared out, the lane looks wider and cleaner, its dense crowds exchanged for a scanty stream of businessmen walking by.
“Most of the crowd consisted of shoppers, labourers and visitors from other areas, who have no reason to come here anymore,” said Maruti Naikwade, 61, a peon at a jewellery tools store near the blast site. Though Naikwade lost his favourite papad-wala and suffered ear injuries in the blast, he doesn’t rue the ban on hawking and parking in the area.
Outside Khau Galli, however, owners of the large gold jewellery stores are not too happy with the new rules. “Business has been affected adversely,” said Surana Zaveri, co-owner of a gold jewellery store in the bazaar.