Hundreds of hoteliers and staffers attached to various associations in the twin-city staged peaceful demonstrations outside their respective business establishments including restaurants and bars on Thursday to register their protest against the curbs imposed by the Maharashtra government.
“It’s not just a question of profit and loss for owners, it’s a fight for survival as each establishment employs around 40 to 45 staffers. How are we supposed to pay them or clear our rents and EMI’s,” said Santosh Puthran who heads the hotel association of Kashimira.
Carrying placards with slogans against the unjustified lockdown, agitators wore masks and ensured social distance norms were not violated.
“The hospitality industry is a major contributor in terms of revenue to the government. A week ago we paid lakhs towards excise fees and now we are again staring at closed doors. If we are not allowed to operate, we will be left with no other option but to intensify our agitation,” said Uday Shetty.
“By abruptly asking us to down shutters under the guise of lockdown, the government is taking the risk of replicating last year’s scenario which saw penniless migrant workers walking back to their native places,” said Chandra Poojary.
Hoteliers alleged that they were always a soft target for the government to be made sacrificial scapegoats, this despite following all Covid appropriate behavior and conducting business in a controlled and safe environment.
While the streets were streaming with motorists, markets were crowded as people went into a panic-buying mode after the civic administration replicated the state government’s order and announced enforcement of curbs till April 30.