Summer holidays paralyse ‘chappar’ hotels in capital
Islamabad, June 27, 2010: With the start of summer vacation in academic institutions, business of ‘chappar’ hotels and kiosks is paralysed in the capital because most of their sale depends upon students, especially in the vicinity of major universities and colleges in sectors H-8 and H-9.
Roadside hotels and kiosks usually sell tea, cold drinks, biscuits, cigarettes and some of them also serve proper food to their clients who are usually daily-wage labourers and taxi drivers, but the major part of their business depends on students because numerically they are the largest customers for them.
Faqeer Muhammad Khan, the owner of a ‘chappar’ hotel in Sector H-9, said: “Our business depends on the students of National University of Modern Languages (NUML) and Federal Government College for Men in Sector H-9. Since the start of summer vacation in these academic institutions, our sale is declining fast. We are six people working in the hotel and during summer vacation it becomes tough to manage even salaries for all.”
Samiullah, a kiosk owner in Sector H-9/1, said: “During long vacation, this area becomes deserted, which affects my business drastically. When universities are open, my earning fluctuates between Rs4,000-5,000 per day. It gets reduced to Rs1,000 per day during holidays in academic institutions”.
Another owner of a ‘chappar’ hotel, Muhammad Zareef Abbasi, said: “We are running business here since 1990. There is a 70% reduction in our earnings during vacation each year. These days, we are hardly earning Rs2,000 per day. Whereas our earning is usually more than Rs10,000 during normal days. We are seven people working here and we all belong to Murree.”
He said that the site for the hotel was given to his brother on half rent on the quota of disabled persons during Benazir Bhutto’s first tenure. “There are seven workers, including cooks and waiters, and we are paying Rs6,000 per month to each one of them on an average. We have to pay Rs700 to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) at the end of every month, besides paying electricity and gas bills of the hotel,” he added.
“We are thinking of closing down our hotel for two months because we are going in a loss,” he concluded.
Muhammad Ayaz, who runs a kiosk in Sector I-8, said: “We find our expenditures crossing our income during summer vacation after paying utility bills, CDA rent (Rs2,000 per month) and salaries of employees.” -- INFN (Infochange News and Features Network)