Pune: Following the Maharashtra Bandh called by Maratha Kranti Morcha, most restaurants and eateries in the city were shut until 5 pm on Thursday.
“We had kept all our restaurants shut throughout the day as we knew that because of the bandh, there would not be public on the roads and we would not do any business. However, after 5 pm, as the tension in the city subsided, the restaurants slowly started opening. We also received a notice from the Excise Department to keep the permit rooms closed till 5 pm, after which we could open them,” Ganesh Shetty, President, Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers Association said.
As far as the people checked into the hotels in the city were concerned, Shetty said they would not have faced any problem as the in-house kitchen and room service of the hotels were on. The hotels were only shut for walk-in customers.
Ramesh Gotam, a tea-stall owner on Fergusson College Road said, “Because of the agitation, I had to shut my shop throughout the day. But then, at 5 pm, I decided to open it as the agitation had slowed down. However, I charged Rs 25 for tea and Rs 30 for coffee as I had to adjust with low milk supply.”
The food delivery services in the city like Zomato, Swiggy and others were also shut as the restaurants were closed. However, the services began to function late in the evening.
As the hotels, eateries and shops in the city were shut due to the agitation, to aid the police force that was trying to control the situation, Travel Agents Association of Pune (TAAP) distributed water, tea and biscuits to the police on duty.
The malls in the city were also closed out of concern for safety on Thursday. While some of the malls like Phoenix Market City opened late in the evening, most of the retail shops inside remained closed.