No business forces shops in K’taka bus stations to shut

Bengaluru, July 9 (IANS) Several commercial establishments, hotels and restaurants operating in the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Karnataka State Transportation Corporation (KSRTC) have shut down business following lack of income and buyers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said on Thursday.

“The shopkeepers have submitted a request letter to the BMTC to waive off the rent and some are also asking to return the deposit,” a BMTC official told IANS about their decision to shut shop from Thursday.

As many as 200 shops in the BMTC complexes have closed their businesses and nearly 12,000 such businesses are estimated to exist across the state in bus stations.

“During the lockdown, we have waived off their license fee or rent totally. This time also (during Unlock 2.0) they want a full waiver and we are yet to take a decision,” told a KSRTC official to IANS.

Though the government exempted the shopkeepers from rent collection during the lockdown, it has now started asking them in Unlock 2.0.

When the shopkeepers said they cannot pay the rent due to loss of business, the government asked them to pay at least 20 per cent of the rent, which also they are not in a position to pay.

Many shopkeepers told the transport corporations to take back their rented premises and return the advance deposit.

However, the official clarified that the transport corporation did not serve the shopkeepers any memo or notice during the Covid pandemic.

According to the official, the shopkeepers are free to return the rented space to the transport corporation, but any request for the return of money or reimbursement will be based on the agreement entered into.

Since the requests by the shopkeepers have financial implications, it has to be decided by higher authorities at the managing director level.

Meanwhile, the road transport corporations have expressed their willingness to negotiate on rent, but said it is up to the shopkeepers to decide on shutting their business.



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