Residents of Sector 61 in Chandigarh have voiced their concern over the deteriorating condition of 20 shops in the area that are lying abandoned for the past 25 years.
Constructed by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in 1998 at a cost of ₹40 lakh, the shops never found any buyers, despite repeated auction attempts, the latest a few months ago, when their reserve price was ₹40 lakh each. As a result, the shops now wear a dilapidated look, with chipping paint, damp, mold-covered walls and ceilings, and broken shutters.
Sector 61 Social Welfare and Cultural Association chairman VK Bector said the market had turned into a dumping ground for garbage, with people disposing of waste in the vacant shops. This not only posed health hazard, but also negatively impacted the overall aesthetic appeal of the neighbourhood, he added
A Sector 61 resident GS Rana said they had approached the authorities multiple times to take action regarding the abandoned shops, but in vain. Consequently, the vacant shops had become a safe haven for drug addicts.
Speaking on the issue, chief executive officer Yashpal Garg said the shops couldn’t be allotted even after multiple auctions, adding that the UT architecture department had been told to prepare a plan to develop the market as a commercial hub. Within a month, the shops will be demolished as part of the plan and redeveloped.
He said the board will also ensure cleanliness in the area.