BBMP will rope in pvt players to develop 11 markets like malls

BBMP will rope in pvt players to develop  11 markets like malls

Criticising the ruling BJP’s approval for a joint venture with private players to “develop” 11 markets likes malls, Opposition members stormed into the well of the BBMP Council on Wednesday and staged a walkout.

The Palike has planned to develop the markets with the help of private enterprises (see box), saying it’s a necessary move to improve its finances and offer more facilities to the people. The Palike also plans to upgrade other markets such as Bandimot Road market, Onameenu market, Halasur market, Sirsi Circle market, Darjipet market, Ballapura market, Balepet Chowk market and Malleswaram 8th Cross market and Mutton market.

But Opposition members questioned the need for a joint venture with private firms and feared that if markets were developed on the lines of Garuda Mall, only the rich would be able to visit them. If all markets are converted into malls, just like the Garuda Mall, where will the poor go, Congress corporator Sampath Kumar asked. Leader of Opposition in the Palike Council, Manjunath Reddy of the Congress, accused the Palike of selling all its properties in the name of joint venture.

The BJP’s corporator from JP Park and Market Committee chairperson B R Nanjundappa defended the move, saying the Palike had been incurring huge losses as it does not earn anything from these markets. “For the last eight years, the entire third floor of the Public Utility Building on MG Road has been lying unoccupied. Forget about making any money, the Palike is actually spending on its maintenance. It spends Rs 5.5 crore on lifting and transporting garbage from KR Market while traders there have not paid rent for years. So is the case with shops at Bamboo Bazaar where the shopkeepers have not paid rent for the last 20 years. If this is the case, why should we have markets with zero revenue,” Nanjundappa wondered. He then mentioned that the Palike was earning sufficient rent from Davanam Jewellers, Garuda Mall and Maharaja Complex.

Kumar countered him by asking what happened to the Cox Town market, which the Palike had razed down 10 years ago. In the middle of the debate, ruling party leader N R Ramesh got the matter approved by the mayor. Agitated at the approval, Congress and JD(S) corporators jumped into the well of the House, raised slogans and staged a walkout.

Ban sought on plastic bags

The Palike Council on Wednesday passed a resolution urging the State government to ban the production and sale of polythene bags. The resolution said plastic bags not only pose challenge to Bengaluru, but also other cities in the State.

The Palike has paid the salaries of the 13 officials on deputation from other departments, the council was told. They have now gone ‘on official duty’ to various universities but  are still drawing salaries from BBMP.

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