As unlock 2.0 rolls in, malls, restaurants and places of worship open from today. However, despite malls re-opening, shops owners in various malls in Uttar Pradesh including Lucknow have decided to keep their shops inside the malls shut. All traders have reportedly agreed to this at the trader’s board- Adarsh Vyapar Mandal meeting here on June 7 (Sunday).
Sanjay Gupta, the president of the Adarsh Vyapar Mandal, Uttar Pradesh, has enumerated a list of demands to the mall owners and said that if the demands are not met and the matter not resolved, the process may continue in the coming days as well.
UP Adarsh Vyapar Mandal demands rent waiver
Speaking to OpIndia, Sanjay Gupta of Adarsh Vyapar Mandal said that the traders’ body has demanded that the rent and the common are maintenance fee for the lockdown period be waived for the shop owners. Secondly, a subsidy on both rent and maintainance for atleast 12 months should be provided to the shop owners who have been facing the wrath of the Covid-19 lockdown.
“The shopping mall owners did not listen to the demands of the shopkeepers, so the shopkeepers have been forced to take this decision”, said Gupta.
Sanjay Gupta has said that the high rentals pose a major challenge in front of the shop owners who, now in the current situation will have to reinvent themselves to tide over the challenge.
Shops in malls like Saharaganj, Phoenix, Fun, City Mall were kept closed by traders
Gupta informed that on the first day of the unlock 2.0, shops of malls like Saharaganj, Phoenix, Fun, City Mall, One Awadh Mall, Singapore Mall were kept closed by traders. Besides Lucknow, shopping malls in other districts of Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Agra, Bareilly, Kanpur and Noida also remained closed on May 8.
Uttar Pradesh shop owners demand owners of malls waive off the rent
The state president of the traders association, Sanjay Gupta said that along with the exorbitant rentals, the shop owners have to pay a hefty amount as the maintenance, which he said comes as an added strain at a time like this. One shop owner named Ashish said that mall owners consider the super built area to be 50 per cent of carpet area while calculating the rent. For example, if the carpet area of a given shop is 1000 sq feet, then the considered super built is 50 per cent of 1000 sq feet, which is 500 sq feet. So the shop owners will eventually have to pay rent calculated on 1500 sq feet.
The shop owners said that in case they opt to leave the shop then the money they have spent on furniture and fixture or the interiors of the shop will all get wasted. And in case they continue at the same rent then they would continue to incur losses. Therefore, they have demanded the landlords to waive off the rent for now and recalibrate for the future.
On being asked how the shopkeepers would cope with the losses they would incur if they continued to keep the shops closed, Sanjay Gupta replied that if the demands are not considered the shop owners would anyways continue to make losses, so what would be the point of opening the shops anyways.
Meanwhile, the trader’s board- Adarsh Vyapar Mandal has given a memorandum to the District Magistrate of lucknow in this regard.