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Monday, 19 April 2021

Decision On Bengaluru Lockdown Has Been Taken Today In The Ministers Meeting

Decision On Bengaluru Lockdown Has Been Taken Today In The Ministers Meeting

Amid a rise in Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru, the industry and service sectors are hoping that the state government does not resort to extreme measures like lockdown to combat the spread of the infection.

They are concerned that the conflicting signals emanating from government ministers not entirely ruling out the possibility of a lockdown could lead to a repeat of last year's scenario when industries ran into a crisis after many skilled workers left Bengaluru for their native villages. That could potentially disrupt their supply commitments as they are gradually returning to normalcy.

Decision On Bengaluru Lockdown Has Been Taken Today In The Ministers Meeting

While some daily wage workers have already left the city citing Ugadi and increasing Covid cases, majority of them continue to attend work. But there are fears about a possible lockdown and getting stranded, which could lead some workers to leave the city, industry bodies say.

“If the government plans to impose another lockdown, the entire workforce will leave the city once again. And this time it will be impossible to get them back. We are hoping that the state government takes controlled measures to reduce the spread of Covid, but does not take stringent decisions,” said Credai Bengaluru chairman Suresh Hari.

As of now, the construction industry is doing just fine and there is no labour shortage, he said.

Industry bodies are also asking employers to take adequate care of their workers and also create awareness about the Covid situation, so that workers do not panic. “Now with Bengaluru becoming a Covid hotspot for the second time, there is a possibility of families asking workers to return, out of fear that there may be a lockdown or because of fears of them contracting the infection. Therefore, it is important for organisations to motivate their employees,” said Bangalore Chamber of Industries and Commerce president TR Parasuraman.

There is also a worry that sections of workers who have already left for their native villages for the festival may remain absent for long. Hotel and restaurant owners say that the business is already down by half with the increase in Covid cases and long absenteeism of workers would ruin even takeaway businesses.

“At least a third of the workforce in our restaurants are from states like Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. It was a task in itself to convince and bring all our boys back after the last exodus. We cannot afford to have the same thing happen again,” said Chandrashekhar Hebbar, president of the Karnataka Pradesh Hotels and Restaurants Association.

Karnataka, which was reporting less than 500 Covid cases a day until the first week of March, has started seeing a steep surge with over 9,000 cases per day now. About two-thirds of the newly reported cases are from Bengaluru. Although the government has said that it has no plans to go for a full-fledged lockdown, stringent measures such as night curfew that is already in place is affecting some businesses like restaurants and pubs. Chief minister BS Yediyurappa has said that he will call an all-party meeting after the April 19 bypolls to decide on further measures to control Covid.

Here is the Karnataka - Bengaluru-  specific COVID - 19 guidelines

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