Malls thing of past says Former Speaker on Barik Point

Shillong, Nov 12: Congress MLA Charles Pyngrope today told the house that the idea of shopping malls have become a thing of the past and therefore, requested the government to avoid building a mall at Barik Point.

He cited examples of Maharashtra, where malls reportedly lost 80 percent footfall even before the COVID-19 pandemic and Guwahati, where malls were allegedly shutting down.

Deputy Chief Minister –in-charge PWD, Prestone Tynsong replied that he has noted the concerns of all the stakeholders and that the ‘final call’ will be taken considering all opinions.

Congress Legislator Dr. Ampareen Lyngdoh asked Minister –in-charge PWD, Prestone Tynsong on whether there was a proposal to construct a mall at Barik during question hour on Day-5 of Meghalaya Assembly’s autumn session 2020.

In response, the Deputy Chief Minister stated there is a proposal to set up an ‘iconic infrastructure’, but didn’t mention if the infrastructure would be a shopping mall.

He added that the proposal is still at the conceptual stage. “We have the intent of redeveloping, we also would like to take into consideration, opinions of all the interrelated departments and right now – this process is still on,” he said.

Prestone informed that the Urban Affairs Department had held a design completion last year, where five architecture firms participated for the redevelopment of Barik Point.

Nongthymmai MLA Charles Pyngrope then enquired if there was a mall in the design of the firm that placed first in the competition to which the Deputy CM said yes.

Congress MLAs Dr. Ampareen, Charles Pyngrope and Zenith Sangma urged the government to consult the legislators as well on the Barik point redevelopment plan.