PUNE: The civic administration is issuing notices to shopping malls in the city to arrange free drinking water in their premises. This decision was taken on Friday during the City Improvement Committee meeting of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Considering the past experience wherein the civic body’s suggestions were not taken seriously by malls, it will be interesting to see if this gets implemented.
On earlier occasions, the PMC had made an attempt to reduce parking charges in malls, but malls did not comply. In another case, the corporation demanded that space be given to stalls run by Self Help Groups. However, this too was not considered.
The proposal was tabled by BJP corporator Rani Bhosale. She observed that malls do not provide free drinking water to people and visitors are forced to purchase water bottles by paying higher rates. The proposal stated that there are more than 25 shopping malls in city and as many people visit malls for purchasing as well as window shopping, especially during weekends and holidays, there is rush in malls.
While speaking to Sakal Times, Sushil Mengade, Chairman of City Improvement committee, said, “Pune corporation is supplying clean drinking water. So not only small establishments but malls too should make arrangements to provide drinking water facility to people. We have received one complaint from citizens about mall administration not allowing water bottles, which they bring from outside. Hence, we have taken the decision to make it compulsory to have drinking water facility inside malls. We have also made it compulsory for them to put a clear sign board mentioning the exact location.” He further said, “We will first issue notices to each mall. If they continue to refuse, we will consider further action about charging fine after consulting legal department.”
BJP corporator Rani Bhosale said, “Corporation is giving different facilities to malls. However, they don’t provide facilities to people. Drinking water facility is mandatory for malls but they don’t provide it. So, we have demanded this to City Improvement Committee.”
Prashant Waghmare, City Engineer of the corporation, said, “We are sending a notice to malls to place drinking facility and mention it on the boards so people can know about it.”