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Chappar hotels’ buzz with activity again 

22 September 2010 08:05:31

‘Chappar hotels’ buzz with activity again

Sohail Rashid

ISLAMABAD, September 21, 2010: The roadside restaurants, known as ‘chappar hotels’ in local jargon, have finally reopened in the metropolis after remaining closed for almost four months due to summer vacation in academic institutions and the holy month of Ramazan.

These ‘chappar hotels’ are considered one of the main identities of the federal capital. The major business of these hotels depends on students and labourers working on daily wages at construction sites. They come to these makeshift hotels to have lunch and tea. There is always hustle and bustle in these hotels with waiters in a hurry to serve orders and customers discussing a wide variety of topics, ranging from politics to sports. Most of these eating places remain closed during summer holidays in educational institutions and of course in Ramazan as sale and serving of food is prohibited during fasting hours.

This time around, the roadside hotels remained closed for a longer period of time because summer holidays were immediately followed by Ramazan.

Faqeer Mohammad, a ‘chappar hotel’ owner in Sector H-9, said: “I am very glad over the reopening of colleges and universities because my business totally depends on students of nearby academic institutions”. He said that he did not close down his roadside hotel during summer vacation, but his sales remained low throughout. However he said that his hotel remained closed in Ramazan.

Tauqeer Abbasi, another ‘chappar hotel’ owner, said that he had kept his business closed for three months because the income was very low and it was difficult for him to manage even salaries of waiters working for him. “Now life has back to my hotel with the reopening of academic institutions”, he added.

On the other hand, students are cheerful too as they have joined their friends again for having long discussions in these hotels over a cup of tea.

“It is our routine to take a siesta on charpoys of this ‘chappar hotel’ after having lunch”, said Zia Tariq, a student of the National University of Modern Languages, who was sitting at one such hotel near Seven-Up Chowk.