Exorbitant food prices at Chandigarh multiplexes: DC to take stock, warns of action | punjab | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Exorbitant food prices at Chandigarh multiplexes: DC to take stock, warns of action

DC says, action will be initiated against owners of the erring multiplexes.

punjab Updated: Jul 04, 2018 09:29 IST
Hillary Victor 
Hillary Victor 
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Multiplexes in Chandigarh,Movie halls in Chandigarh,Expensive food
Food items sold in multiplexes have been found to be approximately 80% costlier than those sold outside.(Illustration by Biswajit Debanth/HT)

It’s been over two months since the UT administration directed city-based multiplexes to rationalise the rates of food items sold to its viewers and allow senior citizens and children below the age of five to get their own food, but so far nothing has been done.

This even as the administration, in its directions issued on April 30, had given these multiplexes 30 days to comply with its orders.

Deputy commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi, who is also the chairman of the district consumer protection council, said, “We are convening a meeting in this regard in two weeks and an action-taken report will be sought, following which action will be initiated against the owners of the erring multiplexes.”

Ajay Jagga, another member of the council, said, “The deputy commissioner can pass prohibitory orders under Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), wherein an FIR can also be registered against the owners violating the norms. The council can fix the rates of eatables and in case the owners don’t comply with it, residents can even approach consumer forum.”

The UT administration’s directions had come after the Bombay High Court (HC) held on April 4 this year that moviegoers could not be unilaterally prohibited from bringing their own food and water bottles inside theatres and multiplexes, when vendors were allowed to serve food inside at exorbitant prices.

NO CHANGE ON GROUND

Hindustan Times, on May 1, had highlighted how the food items sold inside the multiplexes were at least 80% costlier than those sold outside. For instance, a bottle of mineral water that would cost around ₹33 outside, was priced ₹60 inside the multiplex. Similarly, a regular glass of soft drink inside a multiplex costs viewers ₹200 as opposed to ₹58 outside.

When HT contacted the area manager of PVR Cinemas, Chander Mohan, for his comments on why nothing was done to bring down the prices despite the administration’s directions, he said, “It is better if you ask officials of the UT administration only.”

RK Kaplash, member of the district consumer protection council, Chandigarh, said, “It has been more than two months since the administration had asked the multiplexes to rationalise the prices of its food items but nothing has been done so far. We get complaints regarding this almost everyday. We have already requested the deputy commissioner to convene a meeting on this.”

There are seven malls in the city with a footfall of around 8,000 a day and around 12,000 a day on weekends. Some of the multiplexes in the city are located in Elante Mall and Centra Mall, both in the Chandigarh Industrial Area; Fun Republic Mall in Manimajra, TDI Mall in Sector 17, Chandigarh and DLF City Centre Mall in IT Park, and Piccadily Square Mall in Sector 34.

First Published: Jul 04, 2018 09:24 IST