97 shops in Ooty Municipal Market to be auctioned

The 97 shops in the Ooty Municipal Market have been sealed and will be auctioned soon in a transparent manner.   | Photo Credit: SATHYAMOORTHY M

A total of 97 shops in the Udhagamandalam Municipal Market are to be auctioned after the merchants who had taken the shops on lease failed to pay the revised rent to the Udhagamandalam Municipality (UMC).

UMC Commissioner R. Saraswati told The Hindu that there were around 1,600 shops in the municipal market. Most of the merchants had agreed to pay the revised rent announced by the municipality a few years ago, and had paid off portions of the arrears due to the UMC.

“So far, we have collected around ₹ 16 crore in arrears from the merchants. About ₹ 28 crore in arrears are still due and will be collected soon,” she said.

The UMC stated that 183 shops had previously failed to pay the revised rent and arrears. They were given time to accept the revised rent structure, failing which they would be sealed. All the merchants, except the ones running 97 of the shops, have agreed to pay the revised rent to the UMC. The 97 shops have been sealed and will be auctioned soon in a transparent manner, officials said.

The municipality has been at loggerheads with merchants at the market for the last few years. Due to the low rents that were being paid by the merchants for many years, the UMC was facing a severe financial crisis, with salaries to municipal workers being delayed and bills owed to various government service providers, including bills for electricity.

Recently, the market premises was closed for around a week due to the merchants not agreeing to pay the revised rent.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 10:27:27 AM |

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