SECTOR 17, once the prime shopping hub for visitors in Chandigarh, has failed to get a single bidder at the auction of 51 shops and booths held on Thursday. Instead, people turned up in large numbers to take up shops in villages and in many cases, even fetched seven times more than the reserved price. The auction of only 11 shops in Badheri, Buterla and Burail villages earned the municipal corporation Rs 3.28 crore, while it was nil for Sector 17.
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In Sector 17, 40 booths located at new underbridge and 11 shops at the subway connecting sectors 17 and 22 were to be auctioned. While the minimum reserve price for 24 booths at the new underbridge was kept as Rs 59.70 lakh, for eight booths, the reserved price was Rs 88.54 lakh, for six of them, it was Rs 68.90 lakh and for two, it was Rs 102.18 lakh. The bridge was inaugurated three years back. While for all 11 shops at the subway of Sector 17, the reserved price was kept at Rs 67.95 lakh. These shops had been lying vacant for years.
One of the observers at the auction, Satish Kainth, said, “We held the auction for the villages first. But, when the turn for Sector 17 came, we were surprised as there was nobody. So, we had to wind up.”
For the villages, it was a different picture altogether. Against six shops – 5,7,10,12,13 and 14 – at Badheri village, the reserved price of which was Rs 6 lakh (each), the civic body received bidding prices of Rs 40 lakh, Rs 37 lakh, Rs 38 lakh, Rs 40 lakh, Rs 38.50 lakh and Rs 39.55 lakh, respectively. The auction at Badheri alone fetched the corporation Rs 2.33 crore.
Similarly, three shops at Buterla village – 4,5,7 – went for Rs 18.25 lakh, Rs 18.81 lakh and Rs 21.60 lakh, respectively, against the reserved price of Rs 5.52 lakh and shop number 10 went for Rs 18.70 lakh against the reserved price of Rs 2.97 lakh, thereby earning Rs 77.36 lakh in total here.
One shop that was to be auctioned at Burail village went for Rs 17.65 lakh against the reserved price of Rs 4.82 lakh. All these shops were auctioned for a 99-year lease.
“People don’t prefer to even come to Sector 17, because it is a dead market now. Only if you see the profit earning situation, you will get more customers in a village than in Sector 17,” said a bidder.