With widespread damage to the vital urban infrastructure, interruption in the transport including, roads, rail and air and inability of the workforce to safely move to and from offices and factories, Karnataka, particularly Bengaluru city, is estimated to have suffered a loss between Rs. 22,000 to 25,000 crore due to Cauvery dispute related violence, apex industry body ASSOCHAM said Tuesday.
“Violence in the state capital and other parts of Karnataka has severely dented the image of Bengaluru as Silicon Valley of India, home to almost all the Fortune 500 companies,” said ASSOCHAM while making a fervent appeal for peace in both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
“The way the violent incidents had spread is demoralizing the business and industrial community, particularly in the capital city of Karnataka. The image that India built around Bengaluru as its ‘Silicon Valley’ is being sullied,” said ASSOCHAM secretary general, D S Rawat.
“The authorities in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu should not allow under any circumstances the law and order to be compromised. While the water is a basic requirement and an emotional issue, the situation is being exploited by miscreants, scaring away the peace loving workforce which has settled in both Bengaluru and Chennai from all over the country and even abroad,” said Rawat.
According to ASSOCHAM, widespread loss would accrue to IT and ITES facilities due to poor attendance for the last several days. Besides, the inter-state tourism, particularly involving pilgrims, domestic travelers, has been affected. Cancellation of air tickets have also been reported to and from Bengaluru.
Likewise, industrial production, movement of cargo and retail trade including malls, cinema halls, restaurants, have been halted. “All these losses would run between Rs. 22,000 crore and Rs. 25,000 crore, besides of course immense damage to the goodwill of the state as an attractive investment destination.”
ASSOCHAM has also urged the Centre to effectively monitor the situation and ensure that peace is restored in the two states. “A lot of damage has already been done to the trade and factory output with movement of the vehicles hit by the agitation which is taking violent shape. There is a huge stake for the country’s showpiece information technology in both Bengaluru and Chennai.”
The strikes and bandhs should not be allowed to take violent shape and the law and order machinery should be geared up well in advance, with good amount of intelligence gathering, it said.
“While we are selling ourselves to be the fastest growing economy of the world, we cannot afford the incidents which are taking place in the metropolitan cities. After all, the two states had built with a lot of hard work image of progressive areas, which should not be compromised at any cost.”