This pandemic did not deter Chandigarh residents from holding onto their cravings. After a hiatus of 60 days as Chandigarh’s sweet shops opened on the first day, city residents gorged on items like samosas, tikki chats and golgappas with shops receiving orders for these items in hundreds on day one.
Deepak, owner of Krishna Chat Shop in Sector 34, said that he had not expected that all his material for golgappas will run out on the first day as they were the most in demand.
“I received around 80 orders only for golgappas which I had not expected today and the batter my staff had prepared ran out. This was more than the orders I received on normal days. I was thinking that we will receive lukewarm response but it was completely opposite in this case .Next in demand was dahi bhalla and tikki chat and we sold about 50 plates of those,” he said.
There are families that have ordered again for Wednesday as well, the owner said.
“Some families have ordered again for tomorrow. I will ensure we prepare more material now,” he added.
According to the shop owner, they ensured that the boy packing these eatables wore gloves and everything was well sanitised.
Bhupinder Singh, owner of Uttam Sweets in Sector 46, said that over 200 samosas, tikkis were ordered in a few minutes.
“It seemed as if people were just craving for these items. There was a family that ordered 25 samosas. Our staff made sure that even the batter for samosas or tikkis are mixed using spoons and not hands,” Bhupinder Singh said.
There were employees of government departments who had placed orders for these items at various sweet shops which they said they will take back after work as there is just a gap of 30 minutes given by the administration.
Office hours in UT end at 5.30 pm while these shops have to down their shutters by 6 pm. The night curfew starts at 7 pm which allows movement of only essentials.
“Our office timings are till 5.30 and the timings of the closure of these shops are 6 pm. So, I ordered 10 samosas with the shop well in advance so that I just take them home before the night curfew starts,” a UT government employee said requesting anonymity.
“I thought let me surprise my wife and my kids today with samosas and golgappas which they haven’t eaten for the last 60 days,” said the employee, who is an official working in the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh.
Small sweets shop owners face problems
However, the small sweet shops owners are still encountering various problems as Chandigarh has just allowed home delivery and not takeaway. As confusion persisted, many were going ahead with takeaways.
There are shops with just 8*8 dimensions and shop owners said that it is impossible to work after keeping shutters down as it suffocates.
“We are in a fix. Takeaway is not allowed and if we open the shutters, people come and ask for stuff. How do we down the shutters and work as our work space is very small. And after two months of no revenue at all, how do we refuse customer coming at our shop? At least takeaway should be allowed,” a sweets shop owner said on condition of anonymity.
They said that grappling with staff shortage was another problem.
“We just made 10 kg of sweets the preceeding night as our staff was almost one third of what we usually had. All others have gone home,” Bhupinder added.
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