Mumbai: Shop owners go on strike as Kandivli mall goes dark

Around 800 shopkeepers at Raghuleela Megamall in Kandivli (West) began an indefinite strike yesterday; the power connection to the mall meter was cut 28 days ago because of non-payment of dues of over R2 crore by some members

Nearly 800 shop owners from a Kandivli mall went on strike yesterday, after the refusal of some of the owners of shops to pay the maintenance charges resulted in the mall meter’s electricity being disconnected. 

Dark days ahead: Shopkeepers claim a few big establishments have not paid the maintenance charges for the society, due to which the mall’s common passages and parking lot have gone dark. Even the escalators and lifts are not functioning. Pics/Nimesh Dave
Dark days ahead: Shopkeepers claim a few big establishments have not paid the maintenance charges for the society, due to which the mall’s common passages and parking lot have gone dark. Even the escalators and lifts are not functioning. Pics/Nimesh Dave

Though all shopkeepers have paid bills for their individual shops, the connection that powers the lifts, escalators and lights in the passage has been suspended. Raghuleela Megamall in Kandivli (West) has been dark for the last 28 days, since the power supplier, Reliance Energy, cut off supply to the mall meter for non-payment of dues of more than Rs 2 crore.

No escalator or lift is working, and the mall’s passages and parking lot is dark. The shops themselves have power, since each owner has paid the individual bill. Confirming the same, a Reliance Energy official said,
“We have been giving the society members adequate time to pay the bill and we had even sent them notices.

Even after that, they did not pay the pending amount of over Rs 2 crore, because of which we had to cut the power supply of the mall meter.” The bill for the mall meter is paid through the maintenance charges collected from each shop owner. The striking members said owners of some big shops had not paid their maintenance charges running into lakhs and for some members, crores due to which the society was unable to pay the electricity bill.

“We have decided to go on strike as there are a few big shop owners who are not paying maintenance to the society, because of which we were unable to pay the power bill. Our business is also suffering as there is no electricity in the mall passage, parking lot, and no escalators and lifts are working.

This has happened due to the mismanagement by the Board of Administrators (comprising nine members) and no action was taken by Deputy Registrar of Societies,” alleged one of the shop owners. Protesting members claimed that since most of the people who had not paid up the maintenance bills had their establishments on the ground and first floors, their business has not been affected much.

However, owners on the second floor have seen their income dip because of lack of elevators and escalators. The strike will go on until the defaulting members decide to pay up. None of them, or the members of the Board of Administrators was reachable for comment.

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