Metro takes sheen out of MG Road
By Express News Service | Published: 30th July 2014 08:13 AM |
KOCHI: The once bustling MG Road is now seeing an exodus of shops and establishments to other parts of the city as the work on the Metro Rail project has disrupted the smooth business activity. Adding to the traders woes is lack of parking space on the road, making businesses a loss-making proposition.
It is estimated that there has been a decline in business of over 60 per cent from MG Road ever since the Kochi Metro work started.
Leading outlets such as Joy Alukkas, KFC and Reliance Trends have moved out from MG Road and many more may follow suit as it will take another four to five years for the completion of Kochi Metro. Shops are relocating to Vyttila, Palarivattom and Kochi Bypass areas, but business is not the same.
“As per our estimates, there is at least 70 per cent drop in business on MG Road owing to Metro work and lack of parking facilities,” said Mathew Kuruvithadam, chairman, Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). KCCI, Kuruvithadam said, has requested the government to provide some concession for shops and establishments on the MG Road like lowering electricity charges or a reducing tax rates to make the business more viable on MG Road. “We have submitted a proposal to the government seeking some concessions for those operating shops/businesses on the MG Road,” Kuruvithadam, also managing director of Kuruvithadam Agencies, said.
He said the state government was yet to respond. According to him, unoccupied private spaces should be provided for parking so that shops and establishments can manage some to attract some business.
E P George, managing director of Novelty Textiles and former chairman of KCCI, said several shops have been closed on MG Road owing to Metro work. Metro work has disrupted the area and there is no parking space, making life difficult for shops and establishments, he said. Some businesses have moved to the Lulu Mall while others have shut down. “There has been loss of jobs for several people following closure of shops in the MG Road,” he said.