Bengaluru

Businesses in Bengaluru re-open, but most report very low footfall

The scene at S.P. Road, which is popular for electronic items, on Monday when Bengaluru unlocked after two months of lockdown to prevent spread of the second wave of COVID-19.  

The city opening up was clearly evident in the return of traffic snarls on the streets on Monday morning. BBMP Civic Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said the response to the unlocking was good in Bengaluru. He pointed out that most people were wearing masks and following COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour (CAB), but added there will be no let up in enforcement of CAB.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa tweeted appealing to people to be vigilant. “As we enter into another phase of relaxation of lockdown, it is crucial to be vigilant and stay protected from the virus. I urge everyone to wear masks, ensure hygiene and sanitation, maintain social distance and get vaccinated,” he tweeted.

Businesses in the city re-opened up after nearly two months. However, most sectors reported very low footfall on Monday, but were hopeful that business will pick up gradually.

Chandrashekhar Hebbar, President, Karnataka Regional Hotels and Restaurants’ Federation, said footfalls were very low and business had not improved from the “only takeaway days”. “People seem to fear having a meal in a restaurant. We need to build confidence, which will take time. So, we have made a rule that only staff who have been vaccinated will be posted on duty at our restaurants,” he said.

Senior trader Sajjan Raj Mehta said footfall in the Old Pete on Monday showed a lot of promise. “People who have marriages in their families have slowly started trickling in to buy clothes and other material. Footfall will gradually improve,” he said.

Footfall was low in jewellery, garments, books and home appliances segments.

“Coming out of a lockdown of nearly two months, people won’t have disposable income to go shopping. They will obviously buy only what is absolutely essential. Going by our experience from last year, it will take at least a month for business to pick up. So, we do not have high hopes for day one,” said Sairam, a jeweller from north Bengaluru.

Dentists, opthamologists and other medical practitioners saw good footfall.

“We had a long queue of patients consulting us over phone. Many were due for a physical examination. They have booked appointments. But many medical practitioners are wary, and not everyone has opened up,” said Dr. Anis Ali Khan, an orthopaedician.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 1:02:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/businesses-in-bengaluru-open-up-but-dogged-by-very-low-footfall/article34879463.ece

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