Tribune News Service
Amritsar, August 3
The Nehru Shopping Complex has only one lift and that too is non-functional for the past couple of months. The complex has the provision for four lifts, but the Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) installed only one and since this is not functioning, no one appears to be concerned over it.
About six years ago, there was a proposal to instal a cube lift at the cost of Rs 12.50 lakh, but it remained only on paper. Raised in the 90s, the multi-storied shopping complex, having 376 shops, has a large number of these lying unoccupied. Majority of the shopkeepers blame the non-functioning lifts for the flop show of the complex. According to them, lifts were never operational since its inception.
In the absence of an easy access, customers don’t evince interest to visit the upper storeys. Hence, traders don’t want to invest money on opening shops and offices on the upper floors.
Heaps of garbage lie scattered near the sight where the lifts had to be installed. Foul smell emanates from the garbage, said Varun Mehra, a shopkeeper.
He said the unhygienic conditions and the non-operational lifts were taking a heavy toll on shopkeepers. He said many shopkeepers had closed their outlets and shifted to private markets. He said he opened his shop in 2002 and since then never saw the lifts operational.
Despite being amply spacious and equipped with multi-storey parking facility, the Amritsar Improvement Trust has failed to market shops. On the other hand, the private plazas and shopping malls on the Lawrence Road and the adjoining Mall Road can be seen abuzz with residents.
Officials of the Amritsar Improvement Trust, seeking anonymity, say the private company, which installed the lift, doesn’t exist now.
They said there was a proposal to run these lifts in partnership with the association of the complex but they did not come forward.
Half of the maintenance cost has to be borne by the association, they added.
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