Hyderabadis rush to stock up on tobacco with looming lockdown

Hyderabad: On Tuesday early morning, people were seen rushing to wholesale chaliyas (paan stores) to buy tobacco products, cigarettes, paan masala, guthka and other items used for paan due to speculation over lockdown in areas within GHMC limits from July 3.

Throwing social distancing norms to the wind, hundreds of people in different parts of on Tuesday morning rushed to the wholesaler and market places for purchasing all tobacco and other products which men mostly are habituated to chewing. Due to large number of customers in markets of old city forcing wholesalers to close down shops despite government extending the night curfew till 9 pm in the night. Such incidents were witnessed in Eidi Bazar, Golnaka, Mir Alam Mandi and Begum Bazar where the shopkeepers had to intervene and close their wholesale stores. That too, considering the breach of social distancing norms imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus. 

Folks looking to stock up on tobacco
Photo by Mohammed Hussain

Earlier during the first phase of the lockdown, tobacco addicts in the city were disappointed because they were not able to buy paan, guthka, cigarettes, paan Masala and chaliya so this has given them a lot of pain. These addicts were purchasing all these tobacco products in triple times the MRP price. So to be on safe side and to keep a stock of one to two months, large number of men were purchasing tobacco products due to the speculation over lockdown from July 3 in Hyderabad. 

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