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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Mall business sees slump as crime rises on MG Road

Sanjeev K Ahuja and Leena Dhankhar, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, May 01, 2013
First Published: 01:04 IST(1/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:07 IST(1/5/2013)

Frequent drunken brawls, traffic jams, parking issues and an unsafe nightlife resulting in plummeting footfall of revellers and visitors on MG Road have forced a number of restaurants and bars to down their shutters.

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The malls, too, have witnessed a drop in footfalls after 10pm as drunken and unruly visitors keep families at bay.

Although there is no definite figure available on the number of restaurants and bars having closed down in the last 12 months, the latest in the series is the 11-year-old restaurant, Fox.

Earlier this year, the iconic Odyssey restaurant on the third floor of the notorious Sahara Mall downed its shutters. Another casualty last year was the fine dining restaurant and bar, Jolly Rogers.

Vineet Taing, president of Vatika Hospitality, who owns a chain of restaurants like Coriander Leaf, 56, Jing and Vcater and Fox, said that all efforts to run Fox failed. “The restaurant with an amphitheatre for 500 people was an icon on MG Road but we were left with no option but to close it. MG Road gets scary by night,” added Taing.

The 2.5-km stretch boasting of about a dozen malls is facing difficult times with revellers looking for alternatives.

BR Wasan of the Metropolitan Mall occupants’ association admitted that the footfall in malls on MG Road had gone down following a series of issues, including traffic jams and parking. He added, “The percentage of sale in malls has started to deteriorate with serious buyers staying away from malls.”

The next big thing which will impact the flow of visitors on MG Road adversely is the state government’s plans to revamp it at the cost of Rs. 30 crore.

Work on this would start in about a month’s time. The police plan to block one side of the road which would lead to further traffic chaos.


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