An action by Noida Industrial Development Authority has now turned into a heated argument between shopkeepers and residents, where the shopkeepers are struggling to save their livelihoods, while the residents are fighting for the safety and security of their families.
It all started with a complaint by Apartment Owner Association of Mahagun Moderne, a luxury residential society in Sector 78, Noida, in which it had complained about the convenience shops being illegally turned into a shopping centre.
Further, it said that it was originally earmarked as convenience shops for residents of the society but later it was changed. The developer had erected boundary walls to turn these convenience shops into a mart which is now known as Mahagun Mart.
Mirdul Bhatia, a complainant cum secretary of the association said, "The facility was developed intending to benefit only residents of the society. But now it is open for people outside the society as the mart has access from main road.” He further added, "Making the mart accessible to people outside the society can pose threat to us as incidents of chains and valuable snatching by miscreants keep happening frequently. Hence, we asked the authority to bring it under the boundary walls of the society.”
Following this complain, the authority initiated action for construction of a wall along the mart. It took measurement of the site where the wall needs to be constructed. The construction was to begin yesterday but came to a halt when the shopkeepers protested against it.
Several shopkeepers having outlets in the mart told that they would become jobless if the wall is erected from the road. They said that this is the only access for customers outside the society to come to the mart for shopping. If a wall is built, it means their access would be closed and the number of visitors will come down drastically.
A shopkeeper said, "We have been paying high rent for running business here in the mart. If the wall is erected, entry of people outside the society will be closed which would have a drastic impact on sales.'' ''We will neither allow the authority to construct nor the residents to close the main entry. We will fight each and every battle and will not let anyone cause damage to our business'' he added.
Though, the authority claims that the developer has agreed to built the wall as it is a part of approved building plan but it did not reveal when the construction of wall will be completed. An officer, on condition of anonymity, said, ''We instructed the developer to complete the remaining work at the earliest. They agreed to complete the remaining construction.” “But when asked about the date and time of completion, he declined to reveal,” he added.