If you have lost your keys or need a standby, a visit to the 'key zone' at Ek Minar Masjid
, hardly a stone's throw away from Nampally Railway Station, is your final destination.
Scores of duplicate key makers sit on the pavement here under small and temporary tents, with piles of rusty keys lying in front of them on with torn gunny sacks.
You just have to give them the original key, and within a few minutes, you will get a duplicate. And if you ever misplace the keys of your home or a large immovable object like an almirah, they'd be more than willing to help you out.
Over the years, the area has earned the reputation of being a reliable place for getting a duplicate key A recent addition to the armoury of the key duplicators, a precision machine, has only served to enhance it. The sophisticated machine has added accuracy in the work of key makers, making their final output error-free, besides saving time.
"We make two types of keys depending on the demand of the customer. One type of key is for rusted locks and key slots. These are tougher to make, as we have to visualise the insides of the locks and saw in the key's teeth accordingly.
"The other type is a duplicate key, which takes hardly 2 or 3 minutes to make. This is what the key-duplicator machine is used for," says a key maker.
When asked about the precautions they take against thieves who forge keys and use them for criminal activities, Ismail, a key maker, said that they are careful about this - they either make keys for locks that are brought to them or visit a house where the keys of an immovable object have been lost and ensure that the inmates of that house are present.
He also said that the key duplicators at the Ek Minar Masjid charge less than their counterparts in other areas. This is because of the cluster of such professionals setting up shops, he opined.
"Here, customers can get a good bargain, owing to competition in the business and the presence of a large number of shops at one place," says another key maker Farouk.
"The price mainly depends on the type of locks. Keys of some locks are easy to make, whereas some others are complicated. By and large, it depends upon how much time and labour you put in a particular job," adds Ismail .
So, next time if you are in need of a duplicate key, do not panic. Just rush to Ek Minar Masjid and get your keys made.