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Shops in Esteem Mall shut down as walls are broken down

By Shalini Raja

BANGALORE (April 2)—Shop owners in Esteem mall are planning to close down as the mall is being demolished to make way for a widened highway.

A decision to occupy more space by razing the walls came down heavily on the shop owners who are planning to shut down as there is no “scope of business” there anymore.

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Esteem Mall walls lie in rubble

"No crowd comes here anymore. We keep sitting in our shops since morning. Sales have gone down by 80 percent. I've been here since the past 8 years but now forced to move out as the Esteem group seems to be not interested in listening to our queries" said Lalita, owner of an ethnic wear showroom called Shehnshua.

The mall is in a battered state as a result of the ongoing demolition process. The entrance to the mall is covered in mud and cement because of which people avoid visiting the mall fearing construction mishaps.

“Two transformers have been removed and kept in the backyard of the premise for the construction work,” said an employee at a music store which is also planning to shut down by month end.

Three shops are planning to shut down by end of April, The Softcopy found out.

The land that was supposed to be taken for construction is already given to the government bodies. But they are planning to engulf more space. Apparently the pillar of the building which is nearly 2 feet wide falls in their construction scheme.We have approached the civil court for putting a stay order on the construction work.” said Sarla, head of Lighthouse, a company that manages the mall.

The shop-owners weren’t informed of the taking over of land and the compensation terms haven’t been spelled out yet to them she confirmed.

"The land that was supposed to be taken over from the Esteem mall group was already compensated in 2010. We cannot disclose the amount of compensation to public” said A.K Mathur, regional officer of NHAI Bangalore branch.
The owner of Esteem group of builders was unavailable for comments.

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