Speaking to DT Next, he said talks were held with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami over the issue and the Chief Minister had instructed officials to follow up.
Stating that officials were now interacting on a daily basis on how the reopened hotels were planning to ensure the continuing restrictions, Venkedasubbu said, “Members have been asked to scrupulously follow social distancing, use of sanitizer and face masks for both customers and staff.”
It may be recalled that the association had earlier approached the Labour Department, Tangedco and the Industries Department for various sops in a bid to alleviate the heavy financial loss suffered by the member hotels.
Stating that only 25 per cent of the hotels were currently functioning by providing takeaways, he said, “this led to a business of only 15 per cent. Unless people come and eat in a restaurant, business will not improve much above this percentage.”
While this might be true of hotels in urban areas, the facilities severely affected were those located on the Chennai–Bengaluru National Highway. They were solely dependent on vehicular traffic to fill up their seats. “This is at a total stand still following Vellore district officials sealing a restaurant which operated on the sly on the same stretch,” a hotelier said.
“Only when Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border opens, we will be able to scale up our operations,” said a hotel owner KS Udaya Sankar.
In a bid to retain labourers, many hotels on the national highway allowed workers to remain providing them groceries to cook for themselves on the premises. “They were tasked with maintaining the surroundings properly in a bid to keep them busy,” he added.