Undeterred by the Mangalore City Corporation's refusal to issue the “City Centre”, a mall here, the completion certificate, the project developers Mohtisham Complexes are going ahead with its opening.

After four years of controversy and prolonged hiccups over alleged building irregularities, the mall on K.S. Rao Road here is all set to be opened on April 25.

S.M. Arshad, Managing Director of the Mohtisham Complexes, told presspersons here on Saturday evening that the mall would be inaugurated on April 25. Confirming that the building was “riddled with irregularities and violations”, Town Planning Officer of the corporation Balakrishna Gowda told The Hindu that it was “illegal for the project proponents to go ahead with the opening without clearances.”

However, he said that he was “not in a position” to comment on what sort of punitive action could be taken against the project proponents for flouting the rules. “That is for our higher-ups to decide. Nothing is in my hands,” he said.

MCC Commissioner K.N. Vijayprakash too expressed concern over the violations in the project but he refused to state what action his department would take if the project proponents went ahead with the opening ceremony. Reacting to the issue, Mohtisham's CEO and chief spokesman conceded at the press conference that some “mistakes” had been committed, inadvertently. But, in the same breath, he termed as “lacking legal sanctity” the civic authority's decision to deny licences to the controversial structure.

He, however, failed to answer how the mall could be opened without the necessary licences.

The opening ceremony promises to be a gala affair. According to Mr. Arshad, it would feature leaders from across the political spectrum, including MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, district-in-charge Minister Krishna J. Palemar, Mayor Rajani Duganna and Congress MLAs U.T. Khader and B. Ramanath Rai.

Mr. Arshad said that the City Centre would be the State's second largest mall. The gargantuan structure, which will house a five-screen multiplex, food court and restaurants, in addition to top brand stores, is spread across 5,40,000 sq. ft., and built at a cost of over Rs. 115 crore.

“The world's fourth largest multiplex operator, Mexico-based Cinepolis, will operate a five-screen cinema hall at the mall,” said Mr. Arshad.

Keywords: shopping mall

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