- Sheer arrogance, naked discrimination; people vent anger at bizarre decision
- IHC restrained Mall from collecting illegal parking fee in 2013
The management of the Centaurus Mall announced through a public notice titled ‘making shopping convenient for our valued customers’ on Thursday that customers will have to buy an entry coupon of Rupees 100 per person in order to enter the mall. The public notice also contained a long list of people who will be exempted from the entry coupon. Some of people that have been exempted from the entry coupon include kids under the age of 12, people over the age of 60, Government employees and staff of national and international airlines among others.
Member National Assembly Shazia Atta Marri of Pakistan People’s Party labeled the decision of the mall management as ridiculous. She said that there is no need to charge people for entering the mall and if the management indeed wants to impose such a fee than no one should be exempted from it. Senator Saeed Ghani of Pakistan People’s Party labeled the act as unacceptable and discriminatory and said that he will raise the issue in Senate.
The introduction of entry coupon and exceptions are blatantly discriminatory in nature. Citizens of the twin cities have express anger at what they call the sheer arrogance of the Centaurus management, the general perception among the citizens is that the step by Centaurus administration is an attempt to keep away the ‘poor’ from entering the mall. A visitor to the mall talking to the scribe said that the notice by the management basically says that the rich don’t have to pay while the poor need to pay to enter the mall. Social media was also awash with criticism of the mall management with one user on microblogging platform Twitter commenting ‘Those who can’t pay must pay, and those who can shall not.’ Another user commented ‘Well I am from middle class and my fellows do misuse the air-conditioning of the mall by just strolling and not buying’.
It is pertinent to mention that the management of Centaurus was previously barred from collecting a parking fee by the Islamabad High Court, the mall administration had imposed a Rupees 200 parking fee for cars in 2013. The management of the $350 million tower located in sector F-8 was charging the parking fee despite the fact that the parking area for visitors was established on 48 square yards land belonging to the Capital Development Authority (CDA).