While BBMP is busy introducing exorbitant rates for parking in the name of revenue, they do not take the trouble to collect the rents from their own tenants.
It has been more than one and a half year, still there are no efforts by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to collect the rent from the shops in Russell Market.
The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike has not collected the rent from the traders since the fire mishap at the market in February last year. There are around 482 shops in the market and each shop has to pay around Rs 400 to Rs 500 rent to the BBMP.
General Secretary of Russell Market Traders’ Association Mohammed Idrees Choudhary said, “It has been 19 months and no one has come forward to collect the rent. We have collected the money from all the shopkeepers and waiting for the officials to collect it from us. We are ready to pay the amount on the spot if the BBMP agrees to collect.”
One of the revenue inspectors who did not want to be named, said “There was an oral order given by one of the senior officials at the time of the fire mishap that, for the time being, collection of rent should be stopped, as they wanted to demolish the market to build a new one. But the demolition did not take place and no orders were given to collect the rent.”
“People from the association have met several officials at the BBMP, but there is no action initiated by the officials. The rent amount is piling up. We do not want to get into any other problem in the future, so we want to clear this issue at the earliest,” said one of the members of the association.
There was also a plan of setting up a waste-to-energy plant which would convert the wet waste into electricity, but this initiative has also been stalled because of the stoppage of rent collection.
Choudhary said “the market collects about eight to ten tonnes of wet and dry garbage on a daily basis. We can use this waste to convert it into energy and thus, use the converted energy to light up the market. The garbage menace will also be addressed. But now, we are not able to pursue this project because of the BBMP. They still say that the files related to this issue should be sent to higher authorities and we do not know when this problem will be solved.”
The traders in the market doubt if there is any hidden motive by the BBMP for not collecting rent amounting up to Rs 20 lakh.