Curtains down for Shrungar complex, come Jan 31

The iconic Shrungar shopping complex on Mahatma Gandhi Road will soon be a thing of the past.

The High Court of Karnataka has directed the tenants at the 48-year-old complex to vacate by January 31.

Home to 60 plus shopping outlets like currency exchange centres, Kashmiri handicrafts store, furnishing shops, juice junction and iconic spots like Bookworm and Queen's restaurant, the complex must be vacated by January 31. However, two restaurants and another shop have been given an extension until June 30 as they have moved the matter to the Supreme Court.

In 1968, a private firm, DNL enterprises, entered into a 32-year lease contract with the landowners and rented out the property. In 2000, Shopkeepers moved the court when the contract with the DNL enterprises ended and the shop keepers were asked to vacate as they were not recognised as tenants. However, DNL managed to get a 10-year extension then.

In 2013, a judgment favouring the owner forced DNL's exit. Soon after, all the tenants pursued the case. Three of the tenants took the case to the Supreme Court, where they were granted an extension till June. Soon after, the high court ruled in the owner's favour, and said barring those three tenants, the rest will have to vacate the premises by January 31.

Vijayakumar, president of the Shrungar shopkeepers association said that there has been an amicable settlement between the property owners and the shopkeepers and most of them will vacate the premises soon.

Mohammed Zabiulla who has been running a currency exchange centre for the past 40 years said that the property owners think that they were running petty shops. "We are not sure where most of the shop owners would go, some of them have decided on another outlet. I have been here for over 40 years and have been paying Rs 1,250 as monthly rent," he added.

PAK Novelties owner Rasheed has been running the business that his grandfather started in 1976. Rasheed says that he has not decided where to go after he vacates. "We have been paying rent of Rs 4,500 for the past 41 years," he added.

Krishna Gowda from the Bookworm said that they knew that someday they will have to vacate the place so Bookworm started another branch on Church Street. He said that they close down their outlet in the complex soon.

Most of the shopkeepers who rented the shops from the DNL enterprise continue to pay the nominal rent, while few shopkeepers have sub-rented the shops with the present rental rates.

BOX:

Adieu Big Kids Kemp

It is curtains down for the Big Kids Kemp, one of the first retail shopping centres The store welcomed its guests with life-sized cartoon characters, an experience closest to Disneyland that every child of 1990s cherishes to date.

Friday was the last working day of the store as the owner decided to close down the business and lease it out.

Ravi Vashi Melwani, one of the owners of the Big Kids Kemp said that he was into humanitarian services now and has decided to shut down their outlets.

"We had closed down the Kids Kemp on K G Road 10 years ago and in 2007, the Kemp Fort was closed down to give way to the Kemp Fort Mall," he added.

As a part of the clearance sale, the Big Kids Kemp was offering discounts up to 90% on their products.

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