GCC eyes Rs 40 crore revenue from commercial complexes

A Chennai Corporation official said that several shop owners, who are given shops on a rental basis, have a pending dues of around Rs 40 crore collectively.
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: Eyeing more revenue from commercial complexes built and maintained by the Greater Chennai Corporation, the civic body has intensified action against shop owners, who are refusing to pay rents for a long period of time.

A Chennai Corporation official said that several shop owners, who are given shops on a rental basis, have a pending dues of around Rs 40 crore collectively. "As the facilities in the Chennai Corporation commercial complexes are lesser than the private complexes, we fixed lower rentals. Despite this, several shop owners fail to pay. We have intensified the action against such shop owners and sealed more than 400 shops, " the official said.

He added that almost all the shops that have been sealed are in Royapuram zone and the sealed shops will be re-allocated to other traders. Meanwhile, the civic body has taken a list of another 400 shops that are yet to pay the rents. In total, the civic body has around 1,500 shops in more than 150 places.

"Most of the shops are located in Burma Bazaar and Moore Market. After giving warnings to the shop owners, some paid their rents. Due to the stringent action, around Rs 15 crore has been collected in a short period. Measures have been taken to collect remaining Rs 25 crore. If the identified 400 shop owners fail to pay, their shops will also be closed," he said.

As per the civic officials, the shop owners failed to pay rents due to the lockdown and some refused to pay citing clout among local politicians.

On the other hand, measures have been taken to rent out 117 shops, which are vacant, and the civic body has passed a resolution in a recent council meeting.

"To prevent misconducts in allocating the shops, we have decided to select traders through an online process. Whoever, quotes higher rent, we will allocate the shop," the official said.

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