Karnataka suffered Rs 25K cr loss due to violence: ASSOCHAM

Karnataka suffered Rs 25K cr loss due to violence: ASSOCHAM

'State's image as investment destination damaged'

With widespread damage to the vital urban infrastructure, interruption in transport, including roads, 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 crore and Rs 25,000 crore due to violence related to the Cauvery dispute, apex industry body ASSOCHAM said here on Tuesday.

“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.

According to ASSOCHAM, widespread loss would accrue to IT and ITES facilities due to poor attendance in the last several days. Besides, the inter-state tourism, particularly involving pilgrims, domestic travellers, has been affected. Cancellation of air tickets has also been reported to and from Bengaluru.

Likewise, industrial production, movement of cargo and retail trade including malls, cinema halls and restaurants have been halted. “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.”  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 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.”

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 the image of progressive areas, which should not be compromised at any cost.”
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