Partition-era Mohan Market set to be put up for sale in Lucknow
Municipal commissioner Indramani Tripathi confirmed the proposal to sell Mohan Market had been drafted and it would be presented at the LMC house meeting scheduled on September 19.Updated: Sep 12, 2019 04:50 IST
Mohan Market, one of the city’s busiest shopping areas with roots in the Partition era, is all set to go on sale, civic officials have said.
Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) proposes to sell the 327 shops it owns in the market situated in the three lanes of Aminabad Ghantaghar park and hopes to earn Rs 3.5 billion (Rs 350 crore) from the deal even as the existing shopkeepers pay as little as Rs 10-35 rent per month to the civic body despite the rising cost of maintenance, the officials added.
Also known as Refugee Market, it was established in 1948 to provide a livelihood to refugees who came from Pakistan in 1947 after Partition.
Municipal commissioner Indramani Tripathi confirmed the proposal to sell Mohan Market had been drafted and it would be presented at the LMC house meeting scheduled on September 19.
“If the LMC house passes the proposal, it would be sent to the state government for approval,” he said.
COMMITTEE FOR DECIDING RATES
“ The rates for the sale would be decided by a high level committee headed by the divisional commissioner. However, the rates would be double the DM circle rate for the (existing) shopkeepers of Mohan Market. For outsiders, the rates would be three to four times (the DM circle rate) depending on the location and size of the shops,” Tripathi said.
At present, no shopkeeper paid more than Rs 360 per annum rent to the LMC, officials said.
An official of the LMC rent department said the municipal body spent over Rs 2 million (Rs 20 lakh) on the upkeep of the shops per year but in return it got nothing. Most of the shopkeepers have stopped paying rent since 2017 when LMC revised its rent for the shops.
After the revision, LMC decided to charge Rs 10 per square feet as rent from the shopkeepers, which they opposed. Most of them stopped paying rent after that.
LMC officials said the sale of shops will enable the civic bodies to slap commercial tax on them and the municipality would not have to maintain these shops. Most of the shops inside Mohan Market now have basements, which have been constructed without permission from the LMC. These have also been built against LDA norms.
A delegation of shopkeepers has already met LMC officials to discuss the sale of these shops. They are concerned about the rates at which the LMC would be willing to sell to them.
A shopkeeper, who refused to be named, said, “We will oppose any move to sell these shops without consulting us. We don’t want to become refugees again.”
For their part, LMC officials said, “Original refugees would be given preference. But out of 327, more than 230 original allottees have either sublet or mutated (transferred) their shops in the name of the others. So the LMC will identify the present occupant and then consider any favour for the original allottee.”
First Published: Sep 11, 2019 23:14 IST