The municipal corporation authorities on Tuesday sealed a prominent shopping mall, Ansal Plaza, on the Ferozepur road for allegedly failing to deposit house tax dues. However, the MC revoked the action and allowed normal functioning of the mall after mall officials gave an undertaking regarding clearance of dues.
Visitors at the mall were surprised when a team of MC along with a heavy contingent of police and other officials reached Ansal Plaza at around 5 in evening, which has become a city landmark over a period of time.
The MC team led by Zone-D commissioner Ajay Sood launched the sealing process and asked shopkeepers to close their businesses in the complex. Soon, the mall wore a deserted look.
According to Sood, the mall officials had not deposited house tax since 2010, which had swelled to Rs 2.92 crore including interest. The tax during 2011-12 was Rs 1.35 crore, it was learnt. The mall was earlier issued notices, but its authorities allegedly did not respond.
Sood said that after the mall failed to deposit the house tax dues, the MC decided to seal the building. "The mall registered with the MC in the name of Hotel Marino was closed down as they had not cleared the house tax dues," said the zonal commissioner.
Interestingly, after the Ansal group bought the building a few year back the name of the complex, Hotel Marino, was never changed on official records.
Meanwhile, confusion prevailed during the sealing drive since MC officials were told by shopkeepers that they independently and individually had deposited house
tax and even showed receipts to civic body officials.
"I have regularly deposited my house tax. This is injustice. It is the mall authorities that have not paid their house tax dues and shopkeepers are being punished for this. The festive season has just begun and it is getting affected due to the sealing," lamented Rajinder Bansal, owner of Raymonds showroom inside the mall.
Ajay Sood said that the mall authorities had submitted a cheque for Rs 10 lakh and assured that the remaining dues would be paid by Friday. "The mall was allowed to open after they gave an undertaking that they will deposit the money by the agreed day," said Sood.