Karnataka has suffered losses of around Rs 25,000 crore because of the protests and bandhs held in the past few days over the Cauvery water-sharing dispute, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India said on Tuesday. According to the industry body, the violence has tarnished the image of Bengaluru as the Silicon Valley of India, PTI reported.
Assocham Secretary General DS Rawat said the losses stemmed from "the widespread damage to vital urban infrastructure, interruption in the transport including, roads, rail and air, and the inability of the workforce to safely move to and from offices and factories". He added that the incidents were demoralising for the business community.
While Rawat acknowledged water as a basic requirement and an emotional issue, he said the issues was being used to unnerve the "peace-loving workforce" that has settled in both Bengaluru and Chennai from all over the country and abroad. He said the aviation sector, tourism and retail industry, among others, have been badly affected by the protests. Assocham urged the central government to monitor the situation and work towards restoring peace in both the states.
The city of Bengaluru and several parts of Karnataka faced a virtual shutdown after protestors took to the streets against the Supreme Court directing the state to release water from the Cauvery to Tamil Nadu. While the court had originally said 15,000 cusecs of water need to be sent to the neighbouring state over 10 days, it later reduced this to 12,000 cusecs.