Parking lot turns into genset garage at Mall Plaza building

Mall Plaza building in Fountain chowk stands tall on the foundation of fire outbreak risk, short circuit, air and noise pollution. The icing on the cake is that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is aware of all these facts for the last more than two years.

Though the building provides the facility of basement parking, all vehicles are parked outside on the Rani Jhansi Road. The basement serves as a free garage for generators of shop owners in the building. More than 15 generators are operated in case of power shortage, that too without any ventilation system, as it has been blocked by display boards.

During monsoons, the parking area is filled with water, with dismantled electricity wires lying all around. There is not even a single bulb to see around in the dark area, making a trip to the parking fatally dangerous. The continuous noise from 15 generators adds to the woes.

Rajesh Kumar of Janki Packers said, "Earlier, we used to work from shop number 15, which was right next to the basement. The smoke coming from basement had started affecting the health of all the employees. The walls of our shop had turned black. We complained to the MC but nothing happened. Finally, we had to shift to shop number 8."

Another problem is that there is no single owner of the building to look after all these issues. According to sources, four partners used to own the building but they they sold all shops. Those shop owners then gave away their shops on rent.

The MC is silent regarding the whole issue. While MC commissioner A K Sinha says the matter falls under the purview of Punjab Pollution Control Board, PPCB spokesperson Dr Charanjit Singh, when contacted, says, "How can the MC wash it hands off the matter? How did the generator sets make their way into this building? They have to get a clearance from the MC first."

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