Palike probes Namma Metro boulevard land ownership

Palike probes Namma Metro boulevard land ownership

Financially unstable, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had come under severe criticism over pledging landmark buildings like the Utility Building and the City Market building to raise funds last year.

With the situation remaining the same, a debate has now been triggered in the Palike over the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited’s  (BMRCL) Rangoli Art Centre on MG Road, which is being readied for launch in May first week.

According to sources in the Palike, the BMRCL never acquired the space occupied by the Rangoli Art Centre, which used to be the boulevard in the past. Also, the BMRCL never entered into an agreement with the Palike over the
commercial utilisation of the space.

Confirming this to Deccan Herald, BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah said: “The BMRCL has neither acquired the land nor has sought permission for its commercial utilisation. It is now they are trying to secure it. I have initiated a probe into the issue.”

The BMRCL, which has  dedicated section of the art centre for non-commercial activities, has three galleries, an auditorium and about 14 other dedicated spaces earmarked for commercial activity.

The BBMP officials said the BMRCL’s move was not permissible.

“It needs to seek permission for commercial use of Palike’s property,” they said.

BMRCL Managing Director N Sivasailam while conceding to the fact that the land has not been acquired and also that no agreement had been entered into with the Palike, said: “ The State government gave us the land. As the government holds the title, we have the right over its possession and hence, its commercial use.”

Similarly, he added that the government had allocated 100 acres in Peenya, which belonged to the Isolation Hospital on Swami Vivekananda Road and Victoria Hospital.
“There is a government order to this effect,” he said.

Countering the argument, sources in the Palike said even if the government had to transfer BBMP land to other departments or corporations, the matter had to be discussed at the Palike council.

“I will verify if there are any official records to prove their claim,” said Siddaiah.

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