Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter
The business at several neighbourhood groceries located in areas where infrastructure development works are ongoing, is heavily hit.
While lamenting the drastic fall in their revenues, many of the affected feel they would be unable to pull on for long.
"Road development and other infrastructural works have been going on in our area since mid July last year and there is no end in sight for the same even now," said an aggrieved shopkeeper of a lane in Najma. The situation in the area, he claims, is so bad that he is not able to generate sufficient revenues to pay even the monthly rent.
Inquiries in the area found operators of other groceries also have similar grievances. Some of them said they have not only lost their regular customers in large numbers but even the suppliers who used to make deliveries of goods to their shops are also forced to skip the area now because of the apparently never ending works.
Operators of at least two shops in the same area also complained that some of their customers, mainly `bachelors' vanishing from the locality without settling their dues. It is estimated that at least 40% of the businesses at most of the neighbourhood groceries are done on `credit' to customers.
"At a time when we are hard pressed for revenues, customers evading payment of their dues also have an adverse effect on our business, "said a grocery owner.
Some of the shops are unable to stock such essential items as even bottled drinking water to their customers as delivery vehicles are not reaching the streets where they are located, it is learnt. Even the vans delivering LPG cylinders are not entering the area for a few months now.
Even after the arrival of large hypermarkets and supermarkets most of the smaller groceries could remain in business mainly owing to such attractions as 'credit facility' and home delivery of goods to the houses in the neighbourhood.
"However, we are unable to make any home delivery these days as road works have virtually stalled that service too," said a salesman of small grocery in Najma.
More or less the same is the condition of a number of groceries on the streets on the western side of the Doha Industrial Area where road and infrastructural development works are going on for quite some time.
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