Losses due to BJP shutdown put at Rs 2,000cr


TOI, 23-01-2011 04:44:47


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BANGALORE: Streets in Bangalore were deserted but stray incidents of stone throwing here, and elsewhere in the state, marred an otherwise peaceful day as the BJP enforced a shutdown to protest sanction of prosecution against chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.

 

Police arrested 501 people across the state for indulging in violence. In Bangalore city, 30 BJP supporters were arrested in Banashankari, and another 32, including eight women, in KR Puram. City police commissioner Shankar Bidari extended prohibitory orders till Sunday midnight.

 

Stone throwing was reported at eight places in Bangalore. In Jayanagar, troublemakers set fire to a private bus, while in RT Nagar, a school bus was targeted.

 

In KR Puram, two autorickshaws were attacked, and in places like Koramangala, Parappana Agrahara, Kamakshipalya, Rajajinagar and Hebbal, miscreants threw stones at private buses. BJP-called bandh had a limited impact. Several establishments were shut anyway.

 

But retail traders, restaurants and transport operators lost business. Most stores, malls and eateries preferred to down shutters. Buses, cabs and other public transport stayed off the roads.

 

"The worst impact was on those businesses where perishables are involved or people need to travel to make purchases," Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce & Industry president N S Srinivasa Murthy said.

 

Aroon Raman, chairman of industry body CII-Karnataka, refused to put a figure to the losses. But Murthy put the loss of production roughly at Rs 1,500 crore.

 

"In addition there are losses sustained by transporters, loss in trading at the APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) wholesale yard and many other trade centres. On an average the total loss could be put at more than Rs 2,000 crore," he said.

 

The Yeshwantpur APMC yard was partly shut. Traders rolled down shutters by noon citing limited business transaction. But perishable commodities, including 16,000 bags of onions and 12,000 of potatoes, were sold during the first half of Saturday.

 

Traders dealing in foodgrains hardly got customers. "Since bus services were hit, buyers could not reach the yard. Local lorries that ferry stocks to different parts of the city did not turn up," said Ramesh Chandra Lahoti, president, the Bangalore Wholesale Foodgrains and Pulses Merchants Association.

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