The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has voiced its displeasure with the State's arbitrary and unjustifiable restrictions on hotels and restaurants. The Association has mentioned the tragic death of a Virar-based hotelier who took his own life a few days ago after losing his livelihood. The hotelier was harassed by debtors, and he was forced to commit suicide since he had no means or source of income to pay them off. This is the latest in a long line of incidents in which proprietors of hospitality businesses have succumbed to mental anguish brought on by financial losses.
Hotel and restaurant owners are being driven to the brink by restrictions on their right to livelihood, according to HRAWI. The Association has pleaded with the government to either enable them to operate their companies normally or, if that is not possible, to grant them relief and exemptions from statutory financial responsibilities.
“Financial loss as a result of the shutdown and continuing limitations has robbed people of their ability to earn a living. The industry is going through a particularly trying period, with no signs of a break in sight. Hotel and restaurant owners are dealing with a number of difficulties, including a loss of revenue, salary payments, property maintenance, and the increased costs of rent, licence fees, taxes, utility bills and statutory fees. This causes unimaginable emotional anguish, prompting business owners to adopt severe measures. No one should be forced to believe that terminating their life is the only way to solve their problems. It is high time the Government takes this issue seriously,” says Sherry Bhatia, President, HRAWI.
HRAWI has asked for changes to schedules and regulations so that restaurants can operate without limitations in cities and regions where COVID-19 instances are very low. It has asked that restaurants classified as level two or one be allowed to operate according to the hours set out in their permits. The HRAWI has requested that eateries be permitted to open between 7 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. every day of the week, including weekends.
Source: BW Hotelier