Much like a ghost town, Malls, cinemas, pubs, Bus stands and railway stations in the IT city looked empty on Saturday and Sunday. A total lockdown was announced by the state government following the increase in the number of coronavirus victims.
A Ghost Town
The very next day after chief minister B S Yediyurappa declared a closedown in Bengaluru for a week, the routine rush at the Central bus-stand and many other places in the city remained missing.
A few days ago, the CM published directions to end all kinds of exhibitions, summer camps, conferences, fairs, marriage, sports and engagement events, and birthday parties state-wide for a week from Saturday.
“Since yesterday there is slackness. Today again we are witnessing the same,” a Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation official said.
Bengaluru, popularly known to have a thriving mall culture, witnessed a lonely environment in some popular malls and multiplexes on Saturday.
Except for commercial places and restaurants, for which the life came to a standstill, the city’s traffic movement remained unchanged. In fact, many people on the streets informed that they did not want to take public transport, and so they were out in their vehicles; which described the traffic situation.
Following above, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, which runs inter-city and inter-state buses, reported a decline in its revenue.
“For the past five to six days we are seeing a drop of Rs 32 lakh to Rs 35 lakh in our daily revenue of Rs eight crore,” Bengaluru divisional controller B T Prabhakar Reddy said.
Business at pubs and bars have taken a hit too due to the virus danger. “Our businesses have suffered somewhere between 40 percent and 70 percent.
Coming to the schools and colleges, the government had already ordered various education institutes to end the classes and exams amid COVID-19 scare. Meanwhile, many institutes are planning to introduce online classes for their students and a bunch of online platforms has joined hands with the institutes to offer this means for the regular conduction of online exams.
With the shutdown slowing Bengaluru’s pace, the city’s economy also falls. The city’s purchasing and economic power have also decreased rapidly.
Many financial experts around the world have warned that the loss of GST and sales tax revenue alone for the state treasury would amount to a huge Rs 2,000 crore if the shutdown lasted for even a single week.
They also warned that this decline was just the edge of the precipice, exceeding which the falls would be rough and dangerous. Above all these, there was one trade that was having a good time in the city- ‘the pharmacies’. Many people in the city alleged that the sanitizers and masks are being sold by some medical shops at a high price.
According to a ground report conducted by CCB a special drive across the city on Saturday and checked in 210 medical shops. In five shops, they found that masks and sanitizers were being sold at high-priced rates. The checks were conducted at Jayanagar, Kalasipalya, Chamrajpet, Mahalakshmi Layout and Sanjaynagar.