BENGALURU: The issues that Bengaluru was facing in the pre-corona days and at present are very different. Before the pandemic emerged, it was more about civic issue like traffic, parking, etc. The city developed rapidly, and every area tried to become self-sustainable with having their own restaurants or bars. Initially it started off well, but eventually issues like parking, loud music, over-crowded streets, started arising. We lacked proper planning before the city saw its growth spurt. Earlier, if we had to go shopping or clubbing, we knew we had to go to Brigade Road, but now there is a shopping complex and club everywhere.
As the population has increased rapidly, it has also brought about traffic issues. It might not be the primary issue now, with people working from home, but that’s something the city will have to face again once normalcy gets restored. Right now, the biggest concern of the city should be the getting its economy back.
Speaking from the perspective of the F&B industry, even if the lockdown has been eased and restaurants are open to serve and deliver food, we hardly make 10 per cent of the business. Add to that the cost of real estate and salaries to be paid. There is no subsidy coming from landlords either.
With work from home becoming the new normal, many people have left for their native places, and that’s understandable since Bengaluru is an extremely expensive city. But we have also lost big revenue there. Every business is interconnected. Since we are facing losses now, we are not able to place the same amount of orders with our meat or vegetable vendors, etc, and so they are also suffering. The government need to find a way to deal with the issue, otherwise almost six months of hardly any business is nothing less than an obituary to different industries.
SOLUTION: Most of our issues will be sorted if we have a clarity on rules. For example, sometime ago, the government banned live music overnight but after a few weeks, it was again allowed. No one is sure about the rules and regulation to be followed. We cannot change the way the city has been the developed, but citizens can always raise their concerns with proper groups to discuss the problems, and the authorities are equally responsible to come up with a proper solution.
Let your mixed feelings about Bengaluru get stirred up, as an influential person talks about things nice and nasty about the city in this weekly column