Food and beverage coastal workers left high & dry | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: With the food and beverage sector in Mumbai hard-hit by the second wave, families in coastal Karnataka are feeling the heat. About 65% of hotels, restaurants and catering services are either owned or run by entrepreneurs from Karnataka.
During the second wave, many hoteliers committed suicide because they were unable to meet financial obligations. The most recent was Karunakaran B Puthran, 48, who ran a hotel in Virar in Palghar district. He was from Karkala, Udupi district.
“Close to 35% restaurants are on the verge of closure,” said Chandrahas K Shetty, former president, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR), Mumbai and president, Bunts Sangha Mumbai.
“There is no support from the state government on waiver of licence fees, electricity, bank loans or taxes,” said Chandrahas. “The second lockdown was a big blow. Currently, the sector can operate till 4pm, which does not serve the purpose. If there is a third lockdown, it will be the final nail in the coffin.”
Most hotels are taken on rent or lease. Yermal Harish Shetty, owner, Hotel Link View, Borivali West, said, “During the first wave, some owners gave some relaxations. When restrictions were lifted, they began demanding pending rent. It’s difficult to shake off this financial crisis unless the government steps in,” said Yermal, who employs close to 400 people in various hotels.
The lack of a floating population is another issue. Shanker B Shetty, owner of Hotel Shreya Palace in Virar West, said: “There is a rumour of another lockdown in August. If there is one, we do not know what our situation will be.”

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