Representatives of Shopping Centres Association of India met Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa and claimed consumption losses of more than Rs. 2000 crores since lockdown began in Bengaluru alone.

There are over 82 malls today in Karnataka with a total footprint of over 200 lakh square feet of built-up area. (Photo: Brigade Group website)

The Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI) on Tuesday met Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa and submitted a memorandum seeking directions for the immediate opening of shopping centres and malls in the state.

They told India Today TV that CM Yediyurappa assured that he will speak to PM Modi on this issue and is awaiting clearance from the Centre.

The association claims that they have the ability to ensure crowd control and provide a hygienic environment while maintaining social distancing norms.

S Raghunandan, president retail, Bhartiya City Developers says, “We told the CM about the tremendous amount of suffering in the state today owing to malls being closed as well as the revenues that are being lost at every level by the malls, retailers and government.” He also added they have put in more than a month’s time getting ready with SOPs for when they open.

He also debunked the myth that centralised air conditioning in malls can contribute to the spread of coronavirus.

He says the report from the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers has said that when the temperature is controlled at 26 Degrees Celsius throughout, there is fresh air intake all the time.

Shashi Kumar, head retail, Brigade Orion Malls said, “Centralised air conditioning is the safest in terms of temperature control, filtration and getting fresh air since it is all done in a scientific manner.”

These are some of the SOPs presented by SCAI to the Karnataka government:

  • They will only allow category-wise opening in phases in accordance with government directives.
  • Distance Markers will be installed at entry points/cash counters/help desk.
  • There will also be restrictions on mall timings and customer entry.
  • Further, they plan to allow only one customer per 75 sq ft GLA and use only 50 per cent of the total car parking capacity.
  • There will be a screening of all visitors and staff with contactless infrared guns and masks will be mandatory for both customers and employees.
  • They plan to have just 50 per cent of staff strength in phase 1.
  • They claim there will be continuous sanitization of customer touch-points and fumigation and emergency rooms for isolation of suspected cases.
  • Further, there will be no permission for events, open atrium sales, busking and live music performances that can cause shoppers to congregate.

There are over 82 malls today in Karnataka with a total footprint of over 200 lakh square feet of built-up area which is supposed to be the largest in South India.

According to SCAI, these malls provide employment to more than 1,00,000 people through direct and indirect jobs.

Data from the association suggests that the annual consumption turnover is around Rs 40,000 crores in the state and they pay around Rs 3,600 crores via GST and other means of taxation and levies.

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