Uncertainty prevails among the managers of stores located at the Mantri Square Mall in Malleswaram, following the shutdown announced by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner on Monday evening.
The BBMP decided to withdraw the Mall's occupancy certificate and temporarily shut it down after the collapse of a portion of the parapet and a wall on the third and fourth floors at around 3.15 pm on Monday. Two janitors sustained minor injuries in the resulting collapse.
Speaking to The News Minute, store managers raised doubts over the Mall reopening for business any time soon.
âThe Mall owners are not telling us when the mall would be reopened for business now or at least in the immediate future. The Village owner too has no clue. He asked me to find out. The owners are still mum on the issue and we are yet to get some sort of clarity on this yet,â says the manager of Village.
Though he was not aware of the intricacies of the rental agreement with the Mall owners, the lingering uncertainty -he believes- would leave the outlets with no choice but to shut shop.
The Mall which is spread across 1.7million square feet houses 250 outlets and also a multiplex. With the mallâs occupation certificate being cancelled, store managers and owners are worried over their businesses running into a loss.
âWhen the parapet collapsed, the security personnel evacuated the entire building and we did not even have time to close our store. We tried several times to contact the Mall authorities. But all they say is: âwe will soon answer all your queriesâ. If they do not give us regular updates in the matter, it would just add to the worry. There are so many stores here. And if they remain shut for a long time, hundreds will lose their jobs,â remarks Ashok, the store manager at Celio.
While shop owners and managers fret over the future, Malleswaram Inspector says that the Mall may open in a weekâs time or so: âThe wall and ceiling have to be reconstructed. The BBMP officials too have to submit the investigation report. All this may take a week or may be more.â
An official from the Fire Department said that the air-conditioning pipe was damaged due to which water had filled up inside the AC duct. A part of the parapet on the two floors collapsed, after it was weakened due to the moisture and the accumulated water. A part of the wall also came crumbling down.
The BBMP Commissioner has said that the owners would have to now prove that they had abided by the safety measures prescribed at the time the OC was issued, and that the mall would remain shut until then.
The Malleswaram police have also registered a case of negligence against the owners.