By Kashmir Search , Monday, August 6, 2012 5:20 AM

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Srinagar is getting a world class shopping mall. Already talk of the town, the aesthetically designed mall housing shops and food courts will be inaugurated soon.

As the engineers and workers give finishing touches to Sangarmall shopping complex. After Srinagar airport, Sangarmall will be the second building to be fitted with escalators.

Escalators are just some of the firsts for this world class complex that has become talk of the town even before its inauguration. The aesthetically designed mall has attracted attention not only from valley but from multinational companies too. KFC, McDonald and Levis are in queue to get a foothold in the mall.

Built with a cost of Rs 17 crore, Sangarmall is spread on 20 kanals (one hectare), providing ample space for thousands of expected shoppers. The two storey building also has a basement and attic spaces constituting 1.16 lakh square feet of space.

Project Engineer Riyaz Koul says the mall will redefine shopping in Kashmir. “The mall has parking facility for 350 vehicles, including 100 in an underground basement,” said Koul. “Being a secure area kids will always be safe here under watchful eyes of guards even when parents are busy shopping.” There is also a proposal to construct an amusement park for children adding to the overall family experience (outing).

The complex is divided into two parts, craft bazaar and Module A, with a total of 100 shops. Besides there will be one restaurant, two food courts, 11 office spaces and 11 kiosks. As of now the process of bidding and allocation is on. Shops are selling at the price of more than rupees 25,000 per square feet. The restaurant has already been taken by a famous hotelier of Kashmir at the cost of more than three crore rupees. The price of food courts is nearing thirty lakh. The bidding is expected to be completed by December 21.

“The Sangarmall is the biggest financial success for Srinagar Development Authority,” says Zahid Hussain, project engineer. According to some estimates SDA, which is developing the mall, is expecting to get rupees 50 crore from the sale of space.

The Sangarmall story started in 2002, when G M Shah then NC minister laid a foundation stone for building of a shopping centre. But the project didn’t proceed. With new government coming in place and new ideas about developing the property put forward by former Vice Chairman (SDA) Abdul Hamid, the stage was set for an exciting project. A national competition for its design was initiated in which New Delhi based Sharad Das and Associates emerged as winners. Mufti Syed also took keen interest in the mall and the project work started gathering steam.

Early this year the work was going on lethargically, when present VC SDA Syed Kifayat Hussain Rizvi took charge. He pulled the contractors, speeded up the work to make sure it was completed by the year end. “One of the contractors delayed in installing a fountain and his contract was swiftly terminated to ensure continuity of work,” said Hussain.

The beauty of the complex lies both inside as well as outside. “The roof has been fitted with polycarbonate for brighter daylight dispersal,” said Koul. “Traditional Khatamband adds the local touch.”

The completed structure is only first phase of the project which will ultimately become the largest shopping complex in the state when fully completed. In its final shape, five more blocks are to be added to the present construction. The new complexes will house hotels, offices, multiplex cinema and some other attractions. SDA is in talks with a five star hotel to jointly construct a top end hotel.

Being in the heart of the city accessible to both tourists and locals, Sangarmall is expected to generate good business. The shop allotments being restricted to state subjects only will also help in boosting local economy. Currently it has one entry and one exit points, but the final design envisages two more entries. An underpass is also planned to be constructed near Bishembarnagar bridge connecting low elevation road from SP College side with Sangarmall. The underpass will too be first of its kind.

Among other things, the Sangarmall will also have an underground water tank of 5.75 lakh litre capacity, musical fountains, open air amphitheatre, firefighting fire alarm system and 24 hour power backup.



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