Apex industry body ASSOCHAM on Tuesday pegged the state’s loss at between Rs 22,000 crore and Rs 25,000 crore, as the violence resulted in damage of infrastructure, affected mobility, and forced shutdown of offices and factories.
“Violence in the state capital and other parts of Karnataka has severely dented the image of Bengaluru as the 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 spread is demoralising 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 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.
The apex body’s report said that the losses increased, as there was poor attendance in the private companies. Inter-state tourism involving pilgrims and domestic travellers has been affected as many had cancelled their air tickets to and from Bengaluru.
ASSOCHAM attributed the losses to decreased industrial production, non-movement of cargo and shut malls, cinema halls and restaurants.
“All these losses would be 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.”
“A lot of damage has already been done to the trade and factory output with movement of vehicles being hit by the agitation which is taking a violent shape. There is a huge stake for the country’s showpiece information technology in both Bengaluru and Chennai,” it said.
The report also condemned the violence brought on by the strikes. It said that the state’s machinery should have prepared itself well in advance as this might affect the country’s image of being the fastest growing economy.
“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 the image of progressive areas, which should not be compromised at any cost.”
Meanwhile, the tempo drivers association from Tamil Nadu has demanded compensation from the Karnataka government to cover the losses they incurred in the last one week.
TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, in her letter to Karnataka CM Siddamramaiah, cited the burning of 40 buses, 45 lorries and many other vehicles with Tamil Nadu registration by mobs in Karnataka.
The omnibus owners in Tamil Nadu demanded from the Karnataka government Rs 75 crore as compensation for 42 buses gutted by miscreants in Bengaluru, reported Bangalore Mirror.