An under construction godown said to be for use by Bharti-Walmart in nearby Vanagaram, was sealed today by the government officials for allegedly violating rules. The construction had begun before obtaining approval from Chennai Metropolitan Development Agency (CMDA) sources said.
"The site and under-construction building belong to an independent developer. Bharti Walmart has not received any notices from government authorities," a company spokesperson said.
Bharti-Walmart is a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises, one of country's biggest business groups with a presence in telecom, agri-business and Walmart, the world's leading retailer.CMDA sources said a team sealed the building this morning and put up a notice for violation of rules.
Members of Federation of Tamil Nadu Traders Association, who were against the global retail chain's entry in the state, distributed sweets at Vanagaram soon after the premises were sealed. Criticising Bharti Walmart for setting up the godown in the city, Federation president Vikkramaraja demanded that it return the membership cards obtained from small traders.
Though the UPA government announced its decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail last year, the ruling AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu was against the move. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had asserted that FDI in multi-brand retail would not be allowed in the State.