Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Corporators defeat Mayor's move to convert parking complex to shopping complex

BMP will manage K.G. Road complex
The Hindu

BANGALORE, OCT. 26. The Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) Council on Tuesday shot down a proposal to let the builder of the shopping zone-cum-multi-storeyed parking complex on Kempe Gowda Road manage the complex.

Members, including those from the ruling Congress, opposed the proposal to award the management contract to Maharaja Buildtech.

The Mayor, P.R. Ramesh, was forced to drop the proposal.

The ground-plus-four-floor building, situated on Kempe Gowda Road (in front of Sagar cinema) can accommodate over 400 cars at a time.

Built at a cost of Rs. 10 crores through a joint venture between the BMP and the builder, the agreement entails BMP to an 83 per cent share of the parking space there. B.K. Hariprasad, MP, and R. Roshan Baig, Jayamahal MLA, supported the members.

The proposal was placed before the Council without the knowledge of the Standing Committees on Taxation, Finance and Works.

B.T. Sreenivasa Murthy, Azadnagar corporator, said the BMP would be the loser in the deal. "It will allow the builder all the profits if he pays a stipulated amount to the BMP," he said.

"You want to allot it for a meagre Rs. 30 per sq. ft. when the market rate is thousands of rupees. Besides, the builder will get the right to rent out the 270-odd shops in the complex. Apart from the hefty advance and rent, he will get substantial goodwill amount for each shop. This is a conspiracy to loot the BMP. It must be dropped," Mr. Murthy said.

Padmanabha Reddy, Janata Dal (United) leader, ridiculed the move.

He pointed out that even land on the outskirts cost Rs. 90 per sq. ft. The ruling party and the Opposition leaders, H. Jayaram and B.R. Nanjundappa, joined him.

When the Mayor wanted to defer the proposal, the members demanded that it be dropped the same day.

K. Jothiramalingam, BMP Commissioner, said the BMP had a bitter experience when it tried to sell its Madivala and Siddaiah Road shopping complexes.

"Despite inviting tenders thrice, there are no takers. Besides, the rent we get from shops in the Public Utility Building on Mahatma Gandhi Road is nominal. So, we felt it is better to give the builder the management contract," he said.

He said the subject would be referred to the Standing Committees if the Council wanted it that way and that "there were no ulterior motives behind the move."

When members accused the Commissioner of "misguiding the Council," Mr. Jayaram read out a resolution condemning the move and added that the file would be sent to the committees concerned for a decision on inviting tenders.

The Council approved the remodelling of 41 roads running up to 139 km. under its Medium Density Corridor project.

The project, to be taken up with World Bank funding, involves upgrading roads, drains, pavements, streetlights and bus bays.

Some 30 other resolutions on road renaming, land lease general administration, advertisements and work were approved.


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