Shop-keepers of BMC Keshari Mall at Unit-II Market Building here have alleged mismanagement by the builder. They also complained that the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has not been giving proper attention to their problems for which they have been incurring loss and a large number of shops in the mall are lying vacant.
"Due to mismanagement by the builder we have been incurring heavy losses and not many people are visiting the mall compared to other malls in the city. We have invested a lot of money to avail the shops, but we are feeling disappointed with the kind of response," said a member of BMC Keshari Mall Shopkeepers' Association requesting anonymity.
The shop-keepers said the entrance to the mall is not according to the map supplied to owners or the BMC. Open spaces in front of the shops in the basement and the top floor have been given on rent to restaurants, which is causing a lot of inconvenience to them. They also complained that some people have encroached on places in front of shops and there is absolutely no housekeeping inside the mall making it a mess.
City mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said, "The shops in the share of the BMC have not yet been given on rent and the maintenance of the shops is the lookout of the builder, and not of the BMC. We are a partner and that does not mean we will take care of everything. They have to go as per the agreement."
The mall has a 70,000 sq ft built-up area and 220 shops of which only 50% has been occupied so far. The mall has three-way opening and the shops are located in four floors - basement, ground, first and second.
"We have been suggesting the people of Keshari Project, the organization that executed the project in partnership with the BMC, to have one entrance and one exit. By this we can reduce the air-condition charges which is very high due to multiple entrances. The other benefit of single entrance and exit is that business will prosper in the mall," said P K Pradhan, another shop-keeper.