LUCKNOW: The curbs on internet services in a number of districts, including Lucknow, in Uttar Pradesh have had a direct impact on online businesses including food delivery platforms and radio taxi services, especially when the festive season is on.
Amrit Sinha, 43, a takeaway joint owner in Lucknow's Gomti Nagar, had special plans and packages for Christmas but the clampdown on the internet has hit his business like never before. “For my orders, I largely depend on online food delivery services such as Swiggy and Zomato. My sales have dipped drastically during the last 5-6 days because the internet services are down,” says Sinha who had invested a substantial sum in preparing Christmas special delicacies but now is worried if he will be able to meet his sales target.
The Lucknow District Magistrate issued fresh orders on the extension of the curbs on mobile internet to December 25 in the wake of PM Modi’s visit to the state capital to unveil the statue of former PM and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Lok Bhawan.
Besides online delivery platforms, most of the 3,000 radio cab drivers using online aggregators have not been plying since December 19, the day when Lucknow and other districts witnessed violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The government shut down mobile internet in Lucknow on the evening of December 19 as a precautionary measure after protests against the Citizenship Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) turned violent. Vehicles were set ablaze and a person was shot and killed in the protests.
Curbs on the internet have also made it difficult to purchase railway and movie tickets.
On the contrary, restaurants have been doing brisk business in Lucknow since those who used to order food through Swiggy and Zomato are now thronging them. “Handsome crowds are being witnessed at restaurants for the last four days. For the first two days after the violent anti-CAA protests, people were restricted to their homes but now with Christmas festivities in the air, footfalls have picked up considerably during the last four days. Curbs on the internet have compelled food lovers to visit restaurants,” says Nitin Srivastava, owner of a prominent family restaurant in Lucknow.