Bengaluru adopts ‘break-the-chain’ strategy to defeat Coronavirus spread – All textile & jewellery shops to shut down for a week in Chikpete area

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BENGALURU: Textile shops in and around Chikpet are likely to shut as five associations related to the trade have asked its members to close as part of the ‘break-the-chain’ strategy to contain Covid-19. Around 3,000 textile shops associated with Bangalore Wholesale Cloth Merchants Association in Chikpet will close from March 22-25.

“Every shop has 8-10 salespersons who come from various parts of the city,” said Prakash Pirgal, president of the association.

“Besides Karnataka, many of our customers come from other states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. We have to consider interests of both sections, so we decided to close down for the time being.”

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Prakash pointed out that footfall has decreased by 60-70% over the past 10 days and shop owners are facing severe financial constraints.

The Mysore Silk Cloth Market Council (Wholesale), which has around 550 shops under its umbrella in Chickpet, Jumma Masjid Road and Chowdeshwari Temple Street, shut shops from Thursday. The shops will remain closed till March 25.

“Employees in our industry are from Bengal and Odisha. They are engaged in dyeing, printing and other activities. Embroidery is being done by a minority community from Varanasi. Taking into account all this, we decided to stay closed,” said Mahendra Jain, president.

Businessman Mahipal Surana said the move is part of social distancing measures to contain the spread of the virus. “The voluntary shutdown, which comes in the run up to Ugadi festival, will affect the trading community severely. But we have to act in the larger interest of society,” Surana said.

Other associations that have called for a closedown are:

Bangalore Apparel Manufacturers Association (from March 20-22),

Bharatiya Resham Udyog Sangh (March 20-25) 

Bengaluru Jari Traders Association (March 20-24)

Traders in other goods such as electrical, plywood, hardware and paper among others will remain open, but footfall has fallen drastically. “Shops are open, but there are hardly any customers. There’s at least 90% reduction in footfall,” said Mayur Khakhar of optical trade association. The associations are contemplating similar decisions.

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