The road near Shipra mall: To use or not to use; to park or not to park
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The road near Shipra mall: To use or not to use; to park or not to park

Who does the road belong to and why are residents hassled?

The road near Shipra mall: To use or not to use; to park or not to park

Residents of Indirapuram allege that the management of Shipra Mall has occupied and encroached upon an arterial road that runs along the periphery of the mall. They say the road, which lies between the under-construction society Saya Buildcon and the two-wheeler mall parking area, is being used as parking for mall visitors.

The details of the road surfaced in an RTI query by Alok Kumar, patron of FedAOA Ghaziabad. Kumar alleged that the mall management had been using the road as an illegal parking area and earning money off the government property. Kumar had also sent a letter to the Ghaziabad SSP but the residents are yet to see some action.

Speaking to City Spidey, Ishtiyak Ahmed, town planner of Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA), confirmed the road was not the mall's property and that it belonged to them.  

Several residents City Spidey spoke to referred to the issue as organised encroachment, which was the same as what the street vendors and kiosks did. They added that this road connected commuters to the Sector 62 underpass and that the encroachment was making it difficult for them to use it.

However, officials of GDA maintained that the road did not open up anywhere apart from the mall and that any vehicle taking the road would just have to take a U-turn and come back to the same point. Representatives of Shipra Estate Limited, the builder group and the management of the Shipra mall, also shared same views as GDA. When asked if regular commuters could take the road and return freely, "Once inside, vehicles are free to take a U-turn and return after taking a visitor pass without being charged for it," said a spokesperson. 

The mall authorities also denied using the road for parking vehicles. City Spidey, however, found four-wheelers parked along the road and on its central verge.

When PK Sharma, head of the enforcement team of GDA, was asked to do something about the problem, he conveniently passed the buck to Chakresh Jain, executive engineer of GDA. "We will act on the issue once we receive directions from the engineering department," added Sharma.

However, Jain denied that the enforcement team needed any special permission from them to conduct an anti-encroachment drive. "They have never asked for any permission before, so why now?" said a visibly irate Jain.

So who is to solve this problem?