BBMP seals three banks, post office for defaulting on rent

Palike officials state that four establishments owed nearly Rs 4.55 crore in rent

BBMP seals three banks, post office for defaulting on rent

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Monday sealed the branches of three banks and a post office, situated inside the Public Utility Building (PUB) on M G Road, which have not paid rent to the civic body since 2007.

High drama unfolded at the Palike-owned PUB early Monday when officials from the BBMP’s Market division along with the police personnel arrived there to shut down the branches of Apex Bank (shop number 10), State Bank of Mysore (shop number 16), Vijaya Bank (shop number 14/15) and a post office (shop number 17). 

All the establishments were locked, barring Vijaya Bank, as its employees were already at work since 7 am. However, the Vijaya Bank’s ATM centre situated next to the branch was sealed.

The four establishments have to pay Rs 3.24 crore (Vijaya Bank), Rs 33.54 lakh (post office), Rs 63.56 lakh (State Bank of Mysore) and Rs 33.09 lakh (Apex Bank), in all Rs 4.55 crore, as rents.

Four notices sent

In a release, the BBMP stated that as per the Sections 370 and 470 of Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, they had sent four notices between 2010 and 2012 to the four offices, but they had not paid the dues. BBMP’s Deputy Commissioner (Market) had also held a meeting with the officers from the four establishments last year. Yet, they did make the payments and responded only through letters, Palike said.

As a last resort, under the guidance of the then BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah, a final notice was issued on May 15 to all four establishments, asking them to pay the rental dues  within seven days.

They were also told that in the event that they did not pay up, their shops would be closed and legal action taken to collect the dues.

‘Stunned by closure’

Raju Babu, a cashier at Apex Bank expressed shock to disocvering that the bank had been closed down. “The Palike had sent the final notice a few days ago. But, we never expected this kind of action from them,” he said. “This closure will not only affect the employees of the bank but also members of the public as well.”

Palike’s Deputy Commissioner (Market), Nagaraj said,  that in 2007-08, the BBMP had asked all lease holders in the PUB to pay the revised rents.

“The traders had appealed to the Palike to collect the revised rent from 2010 and the civic body agreed. However, the three banks and the post office never made such appeals nor did they pay the rent since 2007,” he said.

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