For people who own shops under the JJ Hospital flyover, peak hour is a nightmare.
Ismail Qasim, 38, owns a perfume and cosmetics shop. “The traffic in the morning is of little concern to me because I open my shop only at 11 am. But from 5 pm onwards, the noise and smoke are unbearable,” he said.
Traffic jams are common. “The noise of the horns echoes because of the flyover. My customers have to yell to be heard,” Qasim said.
He said this is a menace faced by all shop owners under the flyover. “Every evening, as the number of customers rises, so does the traffic. I can barely hear anyone,” he added.
Qasim, who lives in the area as well, said there is a drastic difference between the noise and smoke levels under the flyover and that of nearby area.
“I live in a street behind my shop. The moment I walk away from the flyover, the noise levels drop. I was unwell recently and I couldn’t stop coughing when in my shop. If I had a choice, I would move it,” said Qasim.
He is dreading the impending monsoon. “We have noise and smoke now. During the rains, also we’ll have slush and more traffic jams. If only there was a way out of this,” Qasim said.
Taufiq Shaikh, 31, runs a snack stall under the flyover. “God said the three meals should be eaten in peace. That will not happen as long as I run my tea shop here,” said Shaikh. “I don’t own a store. I face the menace of smoke and noise the most.”
The smoke has started affecting Shaikh’s health. “My throat burns and I cough all the time. It puts off my customers,” he said.
Both Shaikh and Qasim refused to be photographed.