Shalimar, P’kula’s first mall, shuts down
Shalimar, the first mall of Panchkula, that was opened with great fanfare in Sector 5 here in 2009, has closed down following “survival issues and controversies”. The sole section housing movie screens and the food court, that was functional all these seven years, has also closed down.
Director (Sales) of the mall Innet Aggarwal said, “There were certain maintenance issues. We will try our best to open the mall soon.”
Shalimar Mall had again landed in trouble this week after the Municipal Corporation held back its annual fire NOC due to non-payment of property tax of Rs 4 crore.
Aggarwal said, “We were the first ones to pay the entire tax in 2014. Now, in the fresh assessment, they say Rs 4 crore is due. If I am a defaulter, they can ask us to pay up, but why are they holding back the NOC?”
“The NOC can be held back only if the fire safety equipment is not in order. I fail to understand why they have acted in such a manner,” said Aggarwal
The movie counter has been closed now and employees running the counter and the security employed in the mall have been sent packing.
Two representatives of the mall met Mayor Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia today, requesting her not to seal the mall and give them some time. “Dues of Rs 4 crore are pending on their part. The MC has given them more time to pay the tax failing which the mall will be be sealed,” the Mayor said.
The mall has been dogged by controversies since the beginning. After its inauguration in 2009, all 100 shops in the mall kept lying vacant.
The mall landed in trouble when the Electricity Department snapped the power supply to it twice this year following its failure to pay bills worth lakhs of rupees. The movie section, however, continued to function with the help of a generator.
In June this year, the mall owner and 11 others were booked by the police in a case of fraud as buyers of shops alleged that even after paying the money, they had not been given the possession of the shops. The buyers have alleged that they have been duped of Rs 70 crore.
Now, the MC has served a notice to the mall regarding the pending property tax and has held back its NOC.
“If the mall fulfils the conditions, we will issue the NOC,” said MC Commissioner Jagdeep Dhanda.