Bengaluru Protests Hit Amazon, Flipkart; IT Companies Fear 'Mammoth Losses'

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Bengaluru Protests Hit Amazon, Flipkart; IT Companies Fear 'Mammoth Losses'

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An unrest in Karnataka over Cauvery water dispute has affected operations of IT companies in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: 

Highlights

  1. Violent protests over Cauvery issue hit operations of companies
  2. Many offices closed early on Monday, employees asked to work from home
  3. Karnataka has suffered up to Rs 25K cr in losses so far: Trade lobby
Reflecting the economic impact of the violent Cauvery protests in Karnataka's Bengaluru, many companies based in the city known as India's Silicon Valley put their operations on hold or advised employees to work from home on Tuesday, having had to close early on Monday.

Companies like Amazon and Flipkart said their operations had been affected by the protests in the IT hub against a Supreme Court order on the sharing of river Cauvery waters with Tamil Nadu.

"Owing to the situation in Bangalore currently, the delivery of products is temporarily impacted.  We will resume all deliveries at the earliest," said Amazon, the world's top online retailer.

Flipkart also said it was stalling operations today as the safety of delivery staff is its priority. "As we hope the situation to get better soon, we are trying to mitigate all customer impact by keeping them informed about expected delays," said Neeraj Aggarwal, a senior Flipkart executive.

Indian software giants Infosys and Wipro were among the big employers to stay shut on Tuesday. Some firms were closed for Eid.

On Monday, many offices were forced to shut down early, as were schools and colleges, when protesters vandalized shops and burnt Tamil Nadu registered buses and trucks. Accounting giant Ernst & Young asked its workers to leave early and avoid travelling in vehicles with Tamil Nadu plates in Karnataka.

"The impact is that people are scared and not spending too much time at work. Productivity has been hit badly, we haven't been able to work for the last several days," said Harshit Mathur of online payment company Razorpay.

Two persons have been killed in the protests described by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "distressful".

Besides major IT companies including Infosys and Mphasis, Bengaluru is home to start-ups like Ola besides Flipkart. Multinationals like Samsung Electronics and Oracle also have offices there.

Industry body Assocham said in a press release that Karnataka, especially Bengaluru, is estimated to have suffered losses worth Rs 22,000 to 25,000 crore. "The losses will be mammoth but we can't quantify," an official of recruitment company TeamLease told NDTV.

Businesses in Bengaluru have faced four days of disruption this month because of protests linked to the water dispute and an unrelated trade union strike on September 2.

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