Barik Mall: Why do we need it? Opposition asks Meghalaya govt
Shillong: Meghalaya deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong, who is also in-charge of PWD (Roads), informed that the proposal for construction of a shopping mall in the PWD Complex at Barik is only at the conceptual stage.
Tynsong’s response comes amid the question hour of the Autumn Session, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. Congress MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh questioned the government what procedures entail in a conceptual stage.
Tynsong clarified that this project aims to redevelop the area. “The reason I have mentioned that it is at the conceptual stage is that the process is still underway and once the details are available I will be able to comment more on this project,” said Tynsong.
Lyngdoh asked if the Detailed Project Report has actually taken shape in this project.
To which Tynsong informed that as far as redevelopment work is concerned, they are at the conceptual stage. Tynsong added that when talking about the competition held last year, it was for designing and not for DPR.
Lyngdoh further asked if the huge space will be utilised for housing or welfare of the staff.
Tynsong positively responded that it will, and an inter-related department discussion is still on. They will need to take into consideration all these concerned and government will make a decision.
Lyngdoh also urged the government to include MLAs and to consider them for a project meant for the society.
Tynsong said, “Views can be submitted to any concerned department, we welcome suggestions, and we will look into it.”
Tynsong informed that competition was held under the Urban Affairs Department, they floated invitation in June 2019 which was known as design competition from all architect or firms. The nomenclature was the development and designing of Barik Point. Based on that quotation, five firms participated and then ultimately one of them was treated as the winner who was awarded Rs 5 lakh. For the second and third prize, Rs 3 and Rs 2 lakh was awarded respectively.
Congress MLA Charles Pyngrope raised the concern about the idea of malls being a thing of the past. He cited examples of other states how they have opted to close down shopping malls after incurring a huge loss. Pyngrope also highlighted how this generation prefers to shop online rather than shopping at a mall. He urged the government to come up with something that is best for everybody and to use the space for something useful.
Pyngrope also asked the invitations floated for the design, what was this design and what were the parameters. To which Tynsong responded that it was inclusive.
Tynsong further expressed that presently the form of Barik Point is in a pathetic condition. “So we came up with the idea to why not redevelop it. So all those points raised we have noted and let’s hope that the best should come out of this place,” said Tynsong.