Mumbai rains: Retail outlets suffer Rs 500-cr hit after Friday's washout

Out of the 3.5 lakh retail establishments in Mumbai, members of trade bodies said 80 per cent of shops and other outlets remained closed

Around 80 per cent of the 3.5 lakh shops in the city remained shut on Friday, the day when Mumbai came to a standstill thanks to the incessant rainfall. If industry members are to be believed, the losses would have reached Rs 500 crore by Friday.

The losses went up due to incessant rains in the city yesterday, as in many places water had seeped into shops due to BMC’s roadwork, causing damage to stored goods
The losses went up due to incessant rains in the city yesterday, as in many places water had seeped into shops due to BMC’s roadwork, causing damage to stored goods

Also read: Mumbai flooded; 2 killed, BMC's claims about rain-ready city washed away

This figure might go up, as in many places, water has seeped into shops due to BMC’s roadwork, causing damage to stored goods. Out of the 3.5 lakh retail establishments in Mumbai, members of trade associations said that 80 per cent of shops and other outlets remained closed.

Talking shop
According to Viren Shah, president of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association, most staffers at many of the shops didn’t turn up for work either. “There was no crowd on the road, the streets were deserted. Apart from that, staffers were also not present, because of the trains not working.

There are some 3.5 lakh outlets in Mumbai. On an average, each outlet earns somewhere between Rs 10,000-15,000 daily, and based on that calculation, we got the figure of R500 crore. There are some shops that earn in lakhs a day and some get a few thousands, hence we take an average,” said Shah.

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He added, “The damages that we have counted are as of today (Friday). In many places, because of the BMC’s road work, the footpath height has gone up and some stores’ entry (point) is lower than the footpath, leading to major flooding in the shops. We will be getting those figures till tomorrow (Saturday) and only then can those (estimates) be added to the loss figures.”

Hotel woes
Mumbai’s restaurants also suffered losses. Niranjan Shetty, chairman of hotel association AAHAR’s BMC wing, said, “The shutting down of transport is a major setback for all hotels and restaurants. People didn’t come to the city, didn’t leave home, so how do restaurants conduct business? There was hardly anyone on the streets. There is a loss suffered by everyone in Mumbai today.”

Gloomy outlook
Meanwhile, predictions for today don’t seem too good. Vinod Tawde, state’s education minister tweeted, “IMD predicts heavy rain tomorrow too. Appealing to school and college authorities to announce a day off to ensure safety of students.” Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta warned the public that people should avoid low-lying areas on Sunday while finalising travel plans.

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