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Shop owners at Bhandup mall protest against frequent power cuts

Office and shop owners at the Bhandup mall allege that for the last six months they have been facing regular power cuts, making it difficult for them to run their business

Around 1,150 shops at Dreams Mall in Bhandup were closed on Thursday, as owners sat at the atrium to protest against authorities of the mall. Shopkeepers allege that the management, Housing Development & Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), has not been providing regular power supply to their shops and offices.

Dreams Mall
The shops and office owners at Dreams Mall protested on Thursday, against mall management, which comes under HDIL

According to shop owners, for the last six months they have been facing power cuts every day, making it difficult for them to run their business. The mall has three floors in five wings with shops, and a Carnival Theatre on the fourth floor, which comes under the management.

Along with the shop owners, the housekeeping staff also joined the protest. When mid-day spoke to them, the staff informed that they have not been given their salaries for the last month.

'Lack of security'
Shop owners revealed that the escalator service has also not been functioning properly. They also alleged there is lack of security, especially for women, as the lights at corridors are usually off due to power cuts.

The other side
RP Yadav, the head of HDIL Security management visited the mall during the protest. Speaking to mid-day, he said, “We are trying to figure out the issues of owners in the mall. We assured them that their problems would be resolved at the earliest.  We are planning to install generators so that the theatre and shops get regular power supply.”

Voices

Anjani Kormuri, runs a snack shop in the mall
The mall authorities took money from us to install personal meters in every shop. It has been five years, but they haven’t installed it yet. They charge us R20 per unit, when the actual cost of electricity is R9. However, if we fail to pay maintenance money on time, they make sure we don’t get electricity for the next few days.

Raju Prajapati, owns a labour contract office in the mall
I pay Rs 7,500 every month for maintenance, but we are still victimised by the management. There are times when we don’t get electricity throughout the day. The Carnival Theatre on the other hand, has never had a problem of power cut. They only have issues with the shop and office owners, despite paying bills regularly.

Veena Khone, who owns an interior designing shop
I just returned from Delhi and found out that the shopkeepers are on strike. I support them completely as the condition of shops and offices in the mall has been deteriorating every day. As a woman, I feel unsafe working late at night, despite security. The lights at passages are usually kept off and CCTV also does not work due to power cuts. My work requires me to stay at my office till late evening, but I don’t feel safe.

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