Malls are vulgar display of wealth: Union Minister
New Delhi: Targeting malls, a Union Minister
on Saturday described them as "energy guzzlers", which reflect
"vulgar display" of money and sought regulations on such
"Shopping malls are vulgar display of wealth and a
vulgar wastage of energy and space," Minister of State for
Urban Development Saugata Roy said at a seminar, agreeing with
environmentalist R K Pachauri who also described the malls as
The remarks were made while the Minister and Pachauri
were interacting with the audience at a conference on 'Green
Design: Building and Habitat' organised by Ministry of New and
Renewable Energy and The Energy and Resources Institute
"It is high time the society steps in and put certain
regulations on shopping malls which are energy guzzlers," Roy,
a Trinamool Congress leader, said.
Accusing owners of shopping malls of not making any
special effort for energy conservation or water conservation,
the Minister said, "Apart from the psychological impact they
create on the poorer sections of society, the energy that they
guzzle is terrible."
"It seems their principle is show how much you can waste
and how much you can miss," he said but added that shopping
malls will come up in a market-driven economy.
Recently, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had termed
sports utility vehicles (SUVs) as diesel guzzlers and called
their use in the country "criminal".
Pachauri said malls in India are "identical replica of
what you have in north America."
"I find it baffling that so many of these shopping malls
coming up all over the country. And I have some serious
objections. You know they are huge energy guzzlers," he said.
Pachauri said the people who operate the malls would save
a lot of money if they spend some wealth and effort in making
them a little more energy-efficient.
"But unfortunately that is not happening. So something
has to be done and there is something terribly wrong that all
these shopping malls are coming up are an identical replica of
what you have in north America. I don't see why we should be
doing this here," he added.