Mohali: The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has asked shopkeepers at the furniture market, who were affected by the October 21 fire, to submit an affidavit to vacate the place at short notice.

The shopkeepers met the GMADA chief administrator Guneet Kaur Tej and asked for some time to shift the market on Thursday. The GMADA officials had stopped shopkeepers from building sheds at the market on Wednesday.

The illegal furniture market belongs to the GMADA.

Speaking to Chandigarh Newsline, the president of the market, Sunil Verma, said, “The GMADA officials did not give us any assurance. They wanted us to submit the affidavits so that whenever the GMADA needs, the shopkeepers would have to vacate the market with immediate effect. We demanded some time so that we could work till the end of the festive and marriage seasons”.

The shopkeepers had no choice but to submit the affidavit. Many are looking for other places to set up shop.

“The officers told us that GMADA cannot give us more time. We might have to shift in two to three months. We have seen some locations and we will soon start negotiations with the owners of the land,” he informed. So, have the shopkeepers stopped building sheds? Verma said that following the intervention of GMADA, they had stopped building sheds and will start work only after submitting affidavits,” said Verma.

The fire caused severe damages worth Rs 10 crore and as many as 19 shops were engulfed by the flames.