Power supply to the illegal Amanah Shopping Centre building near Crawford Market has been disconnected for non-payment of bills amounting to Rs1.5 lakh.
The step was taken by the BEST undertaking which has also seized electric meters from the building , located on SS Musafirkhana Road. According to sources, such action is rare in the area which is largely controlled by underworld operators.
Since the disconnection last week, most shopkeepers have kept business going using portable lights and fans. But some have shut their shops as it is inconvenient to do business.
“Some shop owners are considering shifting to the Sara-Sahara complex nearby as it is difficult to operate without power. It’s been almost a week and many customers have stopped coming in as the atmosphere inside is suffocating and warm,” said one shopkeeper, who requested anonymity.
There are about 100 shops at the shopping centre, which is named after Dawood Ibrahim’s mother. More than half of the shops are open and functioning. These outlets sell electronic items, toys, perfumes and such personal lifestyle products.
According to the public works department, Amanah Shopping Centre is an illegal structure and no permissions were taken from the concerned authorities to construct the building or operate business activities from there.
A section of the building facing the railway corridor and adjacent to the fish market has been extended. Sources said the location of the structure makes it easier to undertake such illegal activity.
Local civic officials are aware of this and even visit the place, but have not taken any action.
Shopkeepers pay huge rents, but have neither facilities nor safety measures and, therefore, are at risk of accidents.
Even civic activists do not dare to complain about these matters on account of the fear of the influence of the underworld.