Indira Market Shopkeepers Association (IMSA) president, Bhagwant Singh said on Wednesday that the Mandi municipal council (MC) had insulted shopkeepers by issuing press releases, in which it had alleged that the shopkeepers had not paid the outstanding rent for Rs 35 lakh yet.
"The MC has spoilt the prestige of shopkeepers by hiding their failures, mismanagement and mistakes and forcing shopkeepers to obey their illogical orders instead of having a dialogue to solve the issue" said Singh.
The Mandi MC had issued a press release on Monday stating that it was going to issue a 15-day notice to shopkeepers to pay the outstanding rent amount within a fortnight, failing which they would be required to vacate their shops.
Singh said a majority of the shopkeepers were paying their rent regularly. However, he stated that a few shopkeepers had stopped paying rent as a protest as the MC failed to fulfill its promise of repairing shops every year. Singh informed that leakage of rainwater was a constant issue in these shops, but the MC had never bothered to repair them.
Singh said instead of issuing notices to the IMSA, the MC should provide a list of shopkeepers who had not paid the rent and discuss the terms and conditions with them.