BBMP hides market mortgage from BDA

Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has played hide and seek with Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) by not disclosing the fact about pledging the Malleswaram market during its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BDA.

The documents, dated March 28, 2012, in possession of Deccan Herald, show that Malleswaram market apart from the two other properties (Johnson Market and Dasappa Building) that had been mortgaged to Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO).

All three properties had been pledged for Rs 256.53 crore. The mortgage took place during the tenure of former Palike Commissioner Shankarlinge Gowda. The latter had even sent a letter to Executive Director, HUDCO for securing loans granted to them in the same month (March).

Even while the Palike had mortgaged the property, it went ahead and signed an agreement with BDA to re-develop the Malleswaram market, Sampige Road on May 16, 2012. The Palike in its agreement hid the truth about the mortgage to beef up its coffers. In the MoU, BBMP has stated to BDA as: Palike agrees to hand over the project site free of cost along with easementary rights and free from all encumbrances to BDA under the terms of agreement for implementation of the project.

BDA Commissioner T Sham Bhat said he will bring to the notice of government officials and said in case the Palike repays the loan, then there would not be any issue. B M Shivakumar, an RTI activist rued that he has already submitted a letter to Palike Commissioner M Laxminarayana and also to BDA Commissioner but has not received a favourable response.

A HUDCO official said that the Palike has committed a fraud by not disclosing to BDA about its mortgaged property. “Malleswaram market is in our custody and the land belongs to us. The Palike should clear the loans,” he said. Palike Commissioner M Lakshminarayana was unavailable for comments.

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