Tribune News Service
Dharampur (HP), May 31
The journey on National Highway-22 will never be the same for those having savoured the sumptuous Punjabi cuisine at Dharampur’s “Giani da Dhaba”. The iconic eatery has been demolished following land acquisition for the four-laning of the Parwanoo-Shimla highway.
While the authorities had demolished the dhaba partially last year, it continued to do business till it was razed to the ground on Tuesday, taking down with it the memories of its 43-year journey that began in 1974 as a small outlet serving only tea and a few snacks.
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The demolition has become the talk of the town with people exchanging pictures on social media, recollecting their memories of the eatery popular with tourists as well as locals. Those passing by gaze at the debris as they come to terms with the reality.
A family venture of Kuldeep Singh Bhatia, wife Jasbir Kaur and son Manpreet Singh, the dhaba picked up business when the highway was being double-laned.
The end has ironically come at a time when the road is being four-laned. Kuldeep Singh, who once worked as a mechanic with a local watch manufacturing company, opened the eatery to offer a decent stopover to commuters en route to Shimla in the 1970s. Over the years, the eatery saw its business expand as it became popular with travellers.
The dhaba remained abuzz with a regular stream of visitors, comprising families and friends from all age groups, as they stopped by to savour their favourite Punjabi dishes. While the authorities have worked out Rs 2 crore in compensation for the eatery, the owners are among many others yet to be paid. They hope to reopen the venture once the demolition is over, says Manpreet.
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