BENGALURU: The deluge in Kerala and repeated landslides in Shiradi Ghat have had a ripple effect in Bengaluru as thousands of people across the state, who had planned to go on a vacation around Independence day, have now put their vacation plans on hold. Not just that, tourism itself is taking a hit with the state government yet to estimate the loss impact due to the ongoing natural calamity haunting both the states.
With flights from Bengaluru to Kochi airport being cancelled for the second time in five days (previously on August 10), an uncertain gloom has crowded every vacation-goers' mind, leading to massive cancellations.
On Wednesday, at least 10 flights from the city were cancelled as Kochi airport declared closure of operations until Saturday. The flights have been diverted to Kozhikode. While Kozhikode airport on Wednesday was ready to accept additional aircraft, there were limitations as wide-bodied aircraft would need special permission to land at Kozhikode.
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) too has announced its suspension of operations to several popular destinations in Kerala owing to the floods. South Western Railway too has diverted several trains connecting the city with Karwar via other stations like Tirupattur, Palakkad and Shoranur because of multiple landslides between Sakleshpur and Subramanya road.
Flood warnings which have gone out for 14 districts in the state, including popular destinations like Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga, have led to several plans being cancelled.The calamity has poured woes on cab and maxi cab operators of Bengaluru. Landslides in the ghats have affected the movement of people towards the state’s coastal region. Cab operators say the situation would last until the end of the week before normalcy returns, with the sector witnessing 70 per cent fewer bookings since the torrential downpour in Kerala.
K Radhakrishna Holla, president of Bengaluru Tourist Taxi Operators Association, told The New Indian Express that number of people travelling to Kerala and other tourist destinations in Karnataka’s Malnad or Coastal regions has declined in the past week.
“The number of trips made by tourist taxis have not been this low in the past. Hiring tourist taxis have reduced by more than half and bookings have reduced by 70 per cent. Closure of Kochi airport has also affected us,” he said.
Nagendra Babu of Maxicab Owners Association said “Bookings used to be full two-three days ahead of Independence Day every year. But, this year only a few vehicles are on the road as people are afraid to travel.”