With the on-going winter session of Maharashtra Legislature 2016 in Nagpur (from December 5 to 17), the business of local shop owners and other commercial establishments near Vidhan Bhavan are witnessing a sharp downfall in their sales. The reason? Customers are compelled to stay away from shopping from these shops because of the multiple barricades having been put around Vidhan Bhavan by police personnel for security reasons.
Even pick up and drop facility doesn’t really help
When Nation Next spoke to Sandeep Khatri, showroom manager at Suzuki, which is bang opposite Vidhan Bhavan, he said, “It’s been almost 10 years since we are running this showroom. We can’t really do much about it. We usually face a 30-50% drop in our sales during winter session. We normally sell eight to 10 vehicles daily but now due to the on-going winter session, we are selling just five to six vehicles daily. During the winter session, just to enhance sales, we usually extend our working hours by an hour or so. As most of our customers can’t really drive to our stores due to the barricades that have been put for Vidhan Bhavan’s security. Our employees pick up customers from a fixed location and drop them back during the winter session but it doesn’t help much.”
Something is better than nothing!
Satbodh Kumar, store in charge at Bata (diagonally opposite Vidhan Bhavan) says, “The winter session has affected our sales in a big way, but we do enjoy decent footfall on weekends, on which the Houses don’t function. Usually, we sell products worth rupees five to seven lacs but now due to the on-going winter session, our weekly sales have dropped to almost rupees two and a half lacs. No doubt, the footfall is less because of the beefed up security, but we have to co-operate with the government. We have been running this store for 24 years now. But we are fine with it because, what if the government one day just asks us to shut our stores during the entire winter session?”
Compensating the loss
Amardeep Sharma, sales manager at Sudarshan Honda, informs Nation Next that the store, which has a weekly sale of almost 300 vehicles round the year, is now selling just 60-70 vehicles in a week during the winter session. He further adds, “It’s quite an issue for us; we can’t deal with the customers properly. Usually, we have a daily footfall of 100 people. But, due to the assembly, it has just reduced to 50-60 customers daily. Just to compensate the loss, we hold promotional activities across our 13 stores that are spread in and out of Nagpur (Koradi, Saoner, Ramtek, Saoner, etc). We also send bulk messages to our customers and inform them about the inconvenience they might face at our Civil Lines store during the winter session.”
Won’t blame the police!
Shantanu Gadre, owner of Inspire, who is facing a loss of nearly 50% sales because of the heavy barricading due to winter session, said, “If you ask me, I won’t blame the police for all the inconvenience we are facing; they are just following a protocol to maintain a tight security. The police does co-operate with our customers when they want to visit out store though. I can’t see an alternative or a solution to this.”
While the security of the legislature is paramount, the government should ponder upon the heavy losses that these commercial units are suffering for no fault of their’s.
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