Curfew will hit business hard sans benefits: Bengaluru traders | Bengaluru News – Times of India
BBMP health workers conduct Covid test.
BENGALURU: The Corona Curfew clamped from Saturday in eight cities will do harm more than curb the spread of the pandemic, said representatives of business and industries. They pointed out that this comes at a time when the sectors were just about recovering from lockdown losses.
Shopping malls, supermarkets and standalone outlets may be the worst hit by the 10-day night curfew and they’re worried about missing out on Ugadi shopping over the weekend.
Retailers said they’ll be forced to shut shop before 8pm to ensure employees reach home before the curfew kicks in at 10pm. “Shops will miss out on the peak business hour. While it’s an inevitable step to create awareness, I hope the curfew will not continue beyond ten days,” said Uday Garudahar, owner of Garuda Mall and BJP MLA.
Experts observed that steps like night curfew will be counter-productive and asserted that extension of business hours would be more effective.
“There’s a possibility of crowds before the curfew. The best thing the government can do is extend business hours late into the night with proper SOPs to restrict number of people at a time. This will ensure less crowds as well as continuity of business,” said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India.
Stakeholders of the health sector concur. “The night curfew at best may serve as a warning against the pandemic. What we need is avoiding congregation of people and crowding at market places and other areas,” said Dr Sudarshan Ballal, chairman, Manipal Hospitals.
Restaurants, pubs and cinema halls are worried about the negative impact. “The peak business for restaurants and pubs starts at 8.30pm. With this night curfew, hotels need to close before 8pm and it’s as good as shutting shop for the whole day given few footfall during the day,” said PC Rao, president, Bruhat Bengaluru Hotels Association.
Industries are still confused about guidelines for night curfew, although the government has allowed them to continue with night shifts with the rider that employees must reach the workplace before the curfew kicks in.
“How can employees working in the second shift reach home as work ends around 10pm? The worry is that the situation may lead to employees staying away from work and industries suffering from labour shortage,” said TR Parasurama, president, Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce.