New Delhi, Sep 13: In the wake of violence over Cauvery water dispute, Karnataka is estimated to have suffered a loss of around Rs 22,000-25,000 crore with the wide-spread agitation hitting transport services and businesses, Assocham said today.
The industry body further said that violence in the state capital and other parts of Karnataka has "severely dented" the image of Bengaluru as the Silicon Valley of India, which is home to many of the Fortune 500 companies, making a fervent appeal for peace in both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
"With widespread damage to vital urban infrastructure, interruption in the transport including, roads, rail and air and inability of the workforce to safely move to and from offices and factories, Karnataka, particularly Bengaluru city, is estimated to have suffered a loss between Rs 22,000-25,000 crore due to Cauvery dispute related violence," it said.
"The way the violent incidents had spread is demoralising the business and industrial community, particularly in the capital city of Karnataka.
The image that India built around Bengaluru as its 'Silicon Valley' is being sullied," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.
Meanwhile, the violence in the Cauvery water dispute claimed its second life today, as an uneasy calm hung over worst-hit Bengaluru amid sporadic protests in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu marked by targeted attacks.
Leading Bengaluru-based companies like TCS, Infosys, Flipkart and Amazon kept their offices shut today. "While the water is a basic requirement and an emotional issue, the situation is being exploited by miscreants, scaring away the peace loving workforce which has settled in both Bengaluru and Chennai from all over the country and even abroad," Rawat said.
According to Assocham, widespread loss would accrue to IT and ITeS facilities due to poor attendance for the last few days and the inter-state tourism particularly involving pilgrims and domestic travellers has been affected.
Cancellation of air tickets have also been reported to and from Bengaluru, it added. Likewise, industrial production, movement of cargo and retail trade including malls, cinema halls and restaurants have been halted.
"All these losses would run between Rs 22,000 crore and Rs 25,000 crore, besides of course immense damage to the goodwill of the state as an attractive investment destination," the chamber said. It also urged the Centre to effectively monitor the situation and ensure that peace is restored in the two states.