KOCHI: As many as 70 shops functioning from the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium complex will soon be evicted. For the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) is planning to cancel the allotment agreement of the shops functioning on a sublease contract.A special committee of engineers and revenue officers will be appointed to find out the number of shops operating illegally.
The GCDA move comes after its officers came to know about the subleasing activity by the shop owners. GCDA Chairman C N Mohanan told Express legal action will be initiated on those who have violated the law. Subleasing the shop is a breach of contract and those indulging in it will be made accountable for their actions.
GCDA Secretary M C Joseph said, when shop owners pay their rent regularly and renew the lease agreement, it is difficult to know whether they have subleased it or not. "A few cases came to our notice and we asked them to submit their licences. This is the reason to appoint a committee to help us identify the shops functioning against our terms of contract," he said.
Joseph said the tenants with no arrears and working with proper legal documents got back their keys after the complex was shut down for the FIFA U-17 World Cup matches. He said a total of 197 shops function within the complex, of which 112 have reopened.
"Those who are yet to pay their arrears were given their keys after they agreed to complete the payment within a fixed period of time. Due to pending arrears, GCDA is facing a loss of Rs 5 crore," he said.
In the lease agreement, it is clearly mentioned the shop cannot be used on a sublease, said a GCDA source.
"Unfortunately, many have violated this condition. It is essential to bring the violations to the forefront and take necessary action," said the source.
Shop owners allege breach of agreement
Criticising GCDA, a shop owner said the keys were taken from shop owners on a pre-condition that they will be returned back after the FIFA U-17 World Cup matches were over. "But when the tournament was over, the GCDA has come up with new conditions. GCDA can provide the keys and then issue a warning notice to those who have breached the terms of the contract rather than holding back the keys," he said. GCDA informed them about closing the shops for the football matches at short notice, causing difficulty to many companies.
Till now, the person alleged, the building tax for the complex was paid by the tenants but when they receive the receipt from the Corporation office, the remittance is in the name of GCDA. "We cannot even show the money we paid in our account. If anybody fails to pay, they are not allowed to renew their lease contracts," he said. The shops functioning on the stadium premises were closed for security reasons during the world cup matches, which started on October 7 and concluded on October 22. About 44 shop owners had filed a case in the Kerala High Court to get permission to run their shops but the court ordered the shops closed till the end of the tournament.