The two-week lockdown which kicked in from Tuesday was total with all non-essential services remaining shut, on Wednesday.
The lockdown norms were complied with as the severity of the second wave of COVID-19 has shocked the public. Mysuru registered a record 2,000 plus cases on Tuesday which was the highest since the pandemic swept in last year and the cases were pegged at 1,759 on Wednesday.
Except for essential services such as pharmaceutical shops, business establishments were closed across the region. The KSRTC bus stand wore a deserted look while there were hardly any passengers at the railway station. The trains bound out of Mysuru too were empty and the occupancy rate negligible. The Bengaluru-bound Tipu Express and Chamundi Express had a few scores of passengers against their normal carrying capacity of nearly 1,200 passengers.
Though the lockdown norms issued by the State government permitted the functioning of manufacturing units, the garment units were shut. Even among the manufacturing sectors, there were units that were dependent on industrial oxygen but the use of oxygen in industry is now been banned as they are being diverted to cope with the full-blown medical crisis.
Suresh Kumar Jain, Secretary, Mysuru Industries Association, said the impact of the lockdown will be felt in the days ahead. About 20 to 25 per cent of the units are oxygen-dependent and they are ancillary offshoots and provide materials to the larger units. But since the oxygen-dependent units are shut all units in the chain link will feel the impact in due course, he added.
There are also issues related to transportation as workers could not reach the industries in time. Hence there is a demand to introduce KSRTC buses to the notified industrial areas during the shift hours.
Meanwhile, A.S. Satish, President, Mysore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said it is imperative that the industrial raw material supply chain is not choked. Hence the MCCI suggested that the raw material and stores suppliers are allowed to function between 6 a.m and 2 p.m. to enable the industry to function at the minimum operating level.
He said in order to maintain the supply chain to retail shops , APMC also should be allowed to function between the same period daily so that scarcity of basic necessities was avoided. The MCCI also called for reconsidering the ban on textile units as the livelihood of large number of workers depend on this sector.
The lockdown was total in the adjoining districts of Mandya, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu as also in the rural hinterland in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases.