Association for staggered opening of shopping centres in green zones

Published - April 25, 2020 09:38 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Shopping Centre Association of India has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting for staggered opening of such centres in the green zones to help sustain business and protect employment.

“...the impact of the lockdown on the shopping centres has been very adverse, immediate, and beyond comprehension; the landowners have not been able to generate any revenues while almost all fixed costs of capital and personnel as well variable costs, including the full protocols of maintenance, electricity/ other utilities and security etc. continue to be incurred even during lockdown,” the association’s chairman Amitabh Taneja said in the letter.

As per the SCAI, there are over 600 shopping centre across tier 1 and tier 2 cities in the country, housing over 80,000 shops, including grocery stores, pharmacies and essential food and beverage outlets. These shopping centres employ over 20 lakh people directly, and 30 lakh indirectly.

Speaking to The Hindu , Mr. Taneja said they have studied best practices being followed in countries such as China and Dubai, which have begun opening shopping centres, and based on these have proposed strict standard operating procedures (SoP) for working of malls to the government.

These include reduced operating hours, limiting the number of employees and customers, turning on exhaust fans twice a day for fresh air to come inside the building and not allowing any events, live music performance or open atrium sales.

The letter, along with the SoP, have also been submitted to the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Home Affairs, NITI Aayog, National Disaster Management Authority and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.

“We earnestly request that considering the gravity of the situation and compliance to implement very stringent SoPs, a staggered opening of shopping centres be allowed in the green zones…,” the SCAI said.

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