97 hartals in a year: 'God's Own Country' Kerala brought to its knees

Each hartal burns a Rs 200-crore hole in the economy of the state with the tourism sector coming to a grinding halt.

Published: 15th December 2018 02:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th December 2018 12:27 PM   |  A+A-

Tourists

Foreign tourists in Kerala relied on autorickshaws on the hartal day (Photo | EPS/A Sanesh)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has reasons to cheer as we are just three short of a century. Ninety-seven not out. With two more weeks left in this year, the state has enough time to cross the milestone of two consecutive centuries in two years in a row.

Don’t think your favourite iconic stars Sachin or Veeru are at the crease. This is something more powerful and lethal. The three political fronts in Kerala - BJP, UDF and LDF - have called 97 hartals in the state in 2018, whereas it was 120 last year.

For an average Keralite, it is only a matter of maths. But the tourism sector, the mainstay of Kerala economy, is bleeding from the impact of the unmindful hartals. Each hartal burns a Rs 200-crore hole in the economy of the state with the tourism sector coming to a grinding halt.

READ | Over 2,500 foreign tourists likely to be stranded in Kochi, big blow to tourism

Around 50,000 domestic and foreign tourists were trapped indoors on Thursday alone when the BJP called a state-wide shutdown. Around 2,500 foreign tourists, mostly from the UK and Germany who arrived in God's Own Country by a chartered flight and four cruise ships on Thursday, were left in the lurch when Kochi, the nerve centre of the state, blinked its eyes in the wake of the hartal.

ALSO READ: Kerala BJP gets trolled for its fifth hartal

Though the trade and tourism bodies swiftly acted by staying in touch with the state government and Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam, the guests who reached here for a one-day visit were provided trip inside the city with police escort. However, they were deprived of a throbbing city life and its rich culture and shopping experience.

READ | Near-total hartal throws life out of gear

Total number of hartals

In 2018 (Stats by Say No to Hartal)
(Local, district and state-wide)

Total - 97
BJP and affiliated outfits - 31
UDF - 23
Left - 17

In 2017

Total - 120
BJP and affiliated outfits - 47
UDF - 32
Left - 21

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  • Sabhapathy

    Shame on the political parties who keep calling for Hartals
    10 months ago reply
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