What bakes inside the bakery?
OT, 0 IST
Qaiser Khan/Okhla Times Reporter
Jamia Nagar: Patties, sweet rolls and breads that many food lovers in Delhi eat are mostly baked in Okhla. But very little is known about life inside these bakeries. Workers, who are mostly illiterate and come from villages from Uttar Pradesh, are shy. Also, they hesitate in sharing their stories with strangers. Baking these delicacies is no cakewalk! Most of the bakers work till late night because fresh packages have to be dispatched to shops early morning. Such is the demand of these food items that despite the baking condition being substandard, owners don’t have difficulties in finding buyers.
Also, the locality is famous for baking biscuits commonly known as Rusk. The task of baking tones of biscuits every day is arduous. A baking oven is at the heart of a bakery. It requires both diesel and electricity to operate. A baker works for a monthly salary of Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 4,500.00, according to a bakery owner, who didn’t want his name to be published. Food and lodging are free for the staff. Once the work is finished workers sleep on the floor of the bakery.
In this locality, opening a bakery means making quick bucks. But with the construction boom, many bakeries have closed their factories, moving to other places. “Ten years back there were more than hundred bakeries in Abul Fazal Enclave (AFE) but now only dozens are left. After the prices of lands have gone up many bakery owners have sold their factories to builders,” said Tajuddin Sheikh, who has lived in the area for long. This is good for the locality, said another local.
Being located in residential area, bakery factories create problems to some people. “The whole night I am unable to sleep because of a bakery next door. The noise from the machine keeps me awake. I have discussed the issue with my landlord but he shows no interest. I am looking for another house where there is no bakery,” said a tenant who lives in L Block of Abul Fazal Enclave on condition of anonymity. There are many people like him who are not happy with bakeries and factories located in the residential area.
But with the administration doing nothing the people are helpless.
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