Archive for July, 2010

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Today we all are witness to the undoubtedly most marvellous man-made structure in the city of Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Never did Mangaloreans ever see such a location in this small city before. City Centre is that one more feather in Mangalore’s hat! But there are certain realities or rumours that one must know while there is a great part of the world that still lives in poverty and they cant afford to even look at such structures.

City Centre and buildings like these don’t stand up on their own and with straight ways. This is known truth and in India many kinds of such “truth” go unnoticed for a long LONG time. But I want to shed light on certain things that at least all Mangaloreans must know:

  • There was a big furore and quarrel on the land sharing or land acquisition before the construction began. Built close to Lighthouse Hill in Mangalore, posed a risk to acquiring more land than given. Now this was a danger to the buildings near by, apartments and houses that stand on the Lighthouse Hill and have been there for years. By ‘digging the land’ below for the mall, could have loosened the ground and could have led to the collapse of the nearby buildings. We don’t know how this case was pushed under the table, or how did the nearby residents keep silent later, or whether the case is still pending!
  • There were rumours that the management of the mall did not submit the completion report on time and hence the Municipality did not approve of electricity to the building. Yet, the mall was opened without it and supposedly is running on diesel ever since using electricity generators! What a waste of fuel!
  • The disputes did not stop there. There are sources from the Mangalore Corporation who have said that City Centre was supposed to have three more floors above those of the parking lot. If that had been done it would have been the 5th biggest mall in India. Currently its at 10th position. The reason being that the corporation again did not give the necessary permission to build those additional floors. Hmmm so do we have a strict Corporation here? I hope so.

Mall culture is increasing at a rate that is just not necessary at times. If it adds to the economy without hampering anything else and eating through other important resources like land, etc… then we need more malls! Mangalore is a small city and there seems to be race of “mall building” and its crazy! Currently there are 3 malls open (including City Centre) and 3 (or more) under construction! Here is how we stand in Karnataka:

1. Mantri Square Mall, Bangalore, 1,625,000 sq ft
2. City Centre, K S Rao Road, Mangalore, 800,000 sq ft
3. The Forum, Bangalore, 625,000 sq ft

The Plama Mall, Kulshekar, Mangalore is under construction with an estimated area of 900,000 sq ft which will make it the second largest in the State and thus Mangalore will be that city having two of its malls in the state’s top 3! Here are the stats for the malls across India:

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All said and done I love malls and its the best place to meet up with friends or spend time when you have no other place to decide on, especially in this “busy” world today. My concern is to the incredible speed of just 2-3 years that change the faces of small cities, States and India too. And while we’re at the topic of malls, Mantri Mall is not going to be the biggest by the end of next year, because its position will be taken by the upcoming Mall of India, in the National Capital. Check out the list of malls in India.

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