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Karnataka shuts down; loss pegged at Rs 2,000 cr

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IT, BPO companies join near-total bandh

GUARDS OUTSIDE: A view of the Intel office at Infantry Road in Bangalore, which was closed due to the bandh called by the Kannada organisations in Bangalore on Wednesday. The bandh was called by the `Karnataka Border Agitation Committee' an umbrella organisation of pro-Kannada outfits to put pressure on the Centre to implement the Mahajan Commission report on the boundary dispute with Maharashtra.
GUARDS OUTSIDE: A view of the Intel office at Infantry Road in Bangalore, which was closed due to the bandh called by the Kannada organisations in Bangalore on Wednesday. The bandh was called by the `Karnataka Border Agitation Committee' an umbrella organisation of pro-Kannada outfits to put pressure on the Centre to implement the Mahajan Commission report on the boundary dispute with Maharashtra.

Our Bureau

Bangalore, Oct. 4

The 12-hour Karnataka bandh called by pro-Kannada organisations on Wednesday to protest the Centre's inaction on the border dispute with Maharashtra was largely peaceful. Industrial establishments, which remained closed today due to the near total bandh, decided to compensate for the loss of working day by keeping their organisations operational over the weekend.

In Bangalore, almost all IT and BPO companies declared holiday partly due to non-availability of public transport and disruption of traffic by activists supporting the bandh. Among the IT companies that remained closed were Intel, IBM, HP, Infosys, Wipro, Satyam, HCL and TCS.

While many of the IT companies took recourse to their business continuity programmes to support the critical functions, some of the BPO firms operated with lean staff and also made arrangements like diverting calls to other centres within the country and outside to minimise the impact of the bandh.

Good Response

Factories in Peenya, the largest industrial area in Asia, also pulled their shutters except for operational inevitabilities, said a spokesman. The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) issued an appeal to its members to keep their units closed in support of the bandh. Mr R.C. Purohit said the industry would make up for the losses by working overtime. He estimated the day's losses due to the closure of units at Rs 2,000 crore.

A spokesperson of Infosys said that the company declared holiday. "We have declared holiday today and would work on October 14 instead. However, all the critical facilities in all the eight centres in the State is working," she said

The bandh called by `Karnataka Border Agitation Committee' an umbrella organisation of pro-Kannada outfits to put pressure on the Centre to implement the Mahajan Commission report on the boundary issue evoked "good response" in most parts of Karnataka, official sources said.

Mysore, Mandya, Hassan, Bellary,Chitradurga, Shimoga, Tumkur, Gulbarga and Davangere responded well to the bandh call, they said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 5, 2006)
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