Thursday, June 03, 2010

'Mallya road has many illegalities'

'Mallya road has many illegalities'
By: BV Shiva Shankar Date: 2010-06-02 Place: Bangalore




Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde says it will not be appropriate for him to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the opening of the Vittal Mallya road

While Vijay Mallya is all set to attend the ceremony marking the facelift to the road named after his father Vittal Mallya tomorrow, the Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde is not pleased.

The invite to the ceremony sent to the Lokayukta by the Prestige Group, which renovated the swanky road in association with Mallya's UB group, has been rejected.

"Many laws have been disregarded while the building the road," said Santosh Hegde.


Prestige Group took over the work on Mallya's behalf, and after a year, gave the road a modern look. The road will be inaugurated tomorrow.


"We had given a report suggesting corrective measures that would have addressed the irregularities.

The traffic management plan is not in place. Parts of the road have been encroached upon, and there are problems with the storm water drains that flow across UB City as well.

Not one of the suggestions given to them has been followed. How can I go for the ribbon-cutting," he asked.

Mallya handed the contract for repairing the road to the Prestige Group, which completed the job in a year.

Int'l standards

Irfan Razak, chairman and managing director, Prestige Group, said he was happy with the way the road had shaped after the repairs.

"We have built a road that matches international standards in the heart of the city," he said. "I hope people will appreciate the work we have put in."

Residents of D'souza Layout complained to the Lokayukta that the UB Group has encroached seven metres of the road to build a storm water drain for Mallya's ambitious UB City project

Following investigations, the Lokayukta submitted a report that listed several violations and recommended that occupancy certificates should not be given to UB City.

The then BBMP Commissioner Dr S Subramanya complied the report and held back the occupancy certificates.

Official apathy

"It was alright till the commissioner was changed," said Hegde. "But, to everybody's dismay, the present commissioner not only issued the occupancy certificates, but also turned a blind eye towards the violations."

Hegde said he had sent another report to the government seeking stringent action against BBMP officials, including the commissioner, for unduly favouring UB City.

Interestingly, the invitation for the inaugural function does not include BBMP Commissioner Bharatlal Meena, while Mayor S K Nataraj is among the invitees for the function. Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa is also expected to attend.

While he did not want to comment, Meena said, "Please don't pull me into this."

Reacting to the complaints V Gopal, senior vice-president, projects and planning, Prestige Group, said, "There is no violation whatsoever.

They had requested us to leave enough space on the road for parking and we have done so as a result of which the road is uniformly 15 metres wide.

We have built the road according to the map given to us by the BBMP, and the city municipality is not complaining."

Big problem

"That is the whole issue. We have a problem with the BBMP not asking any questions, when there are such glaring irregularities," said Hegde.

"When government officials soft-peddle on violations like this, what can one expect."

Despite repeated attempts Vijay Mallya could not be reached and the UB group spokesperson MiD DAY contacted refused to comment.

Vittal Mallya road, a History
UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya had requested the city municipality in 1972 that he would maintain the road if they named it after his father. The civic body had agreed, but Mallya did not maintain the road as he was expected to. In 2008, the BBMP issued a notice to Mallya and asked him to give the road a facelift, which was in bad shape and they warned that they would change the name of road if he did not comply.

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