Thane: Restaurants, eateries upset over losses due to strict Covid protocols
Following the recent action by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), hotel and other eatery owners are upset as they are incurring losses due to the permitted 50 per cent seating capacity and similar Covid protocols.
Moreover, the crowd at streetside food joints and tea stalls continue as no action is being taken. The TMC claims that they are vigilant towards both hotels and roadside eateries and those flouting social distancing rules are either fined or served notice.
Raghunath Rai, secretary, Thane Hotels Association, said, “The lockdown has impacted our business a lot. We have faced huge losses. The rentals are also high. Now, we have to follow the 50 per cent seating only rule. Even in that, hardly 40 per cent people visit hotels or opt for take-aways. Many have reduced the number of staff. We are not able to maintain the business as well as it was earlier.”
Since the sudden spike in the number of cases recently, TMC has increased its vigilance and sealed a few restaurants and bars this week. “We keep an eye on all food joints and establishments. Everyone has to strictly follow protocols. This week, we have sealed 10 hotels, bars and one wine shop for crowding. People also prefer streetside eateries or food joints. If we find anyone flouting rules, such establishments will also be sealed immediately,” said Sandeep Malvi, deputy municipal commissioner, TMC.
Just like hotel owners who are upset with the losses incurred, small-time eateries and street food joints are also struggling to make ends meet. “As fewer people move out, unlike before, there is hardly any business. Earlier, people used to gather at tea stalls and have small conversations during evening hours over tea. Nowadays, hardly anyone turns up and even if they do, most come alone. This has been affecting business,” said Lakkhan Trivedi, a tea stall owner near Panchpakhadi.