Friday, July 28, 2006

Garuda Mall under scanner land violation

Garuda Mall under scanner
Audit Ordered To Check Land Violation
The Times of India

Bangalore: After grappling with a bomb hoax, Garuda Mall was in the thick of controversy at the BMP Council on Thursday.

The issue — 3,456 square feet land adjacent to the mall, on which a corporator alleged violations had taken place. Keshavamurthy, corporator of Jagjeevanramnagar, alleged that some land adjacent to Garuda Mall at Magrath Road, had been doled out by BMP without any plan sanctions. He questioned the basis on which this “extra” land had been given to the Mall developers, Maverick Holdings Ltd.

The entire council broke into a ruckus when mayor Mumtaz Begum deferred the subject to a later date. It has already been deferred without any discussion earlier.

Later, commissioner K Jairaj told mediapersons that he would get a management audit done for the entire area. “We want to see the original intention of the joint venture and want to firm up the PPP (Public Private Partnership) policy.” Acknowledging that there had been a lapse, he said the Mall owners should have applied to BMP for modified plan sanctions so as to avoid speculation.

Explaining the “extra” area, Jairaj said in the original joint venture between BMP and the Mall, 1,56,000 sq ft (1 lakh 56 thousand) area was supposed to have been given for the project. However, BMP fell short of over 8,000 sq ft and resorted to demolitions of nearby structures. In the course of demolitions, the team realised that some “wasteland”, which could not be used for any other purpose could be given to the developer. And that’s how, the Mall ended up with the “extra” land, explains Jairaj.

Cong corporator suspended: The Janardhan Reddy case was repeated at the BMP Council on Thursday when corporator Keshavamurthy accused mayor Mumtaz Begum of trying to to defend and defer the subject of “violations” at land adjacent to Garuda Mall. He said, “Maybe you have also joined hands with them.” Begum then demanded his apology, when he didn’t, he was suspended from BMP Council for a week.

The Town Planning director at BMP said a portion of the parking area on the third floor at Garuda Mall had been converted to a restaurant, which led to parking problems on that floor. Representatives of Garuda Mall, Mahesh Deshpande, GM, said they had obtained a “partial occupancy certificate” for the 3,456 sqft area.


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