Panel suggests alterations to Prestige-Khoday Tower

Panel suggests alterations to Prestige-Khoday Tower
The high-level committee formed by the Home Department to look into the security concerns pertaining to the 17-storey Prestige-Khoday Tower located opposite the Raj Bhavan, has suggested certain structural alterations to the high-rise building.

The committee, in its report submitted to the government a few days ago, has said that the structural changes as suggested by the panel should be made before obtaining the occupancy certificate from the competent authority, highly placed sources told Deccan Herald on Monday.

The committee comprised City Police Commissioner M N Reddi, ADGP (Intelligence) A M Prasad, ADGP (Internal Security Division) Amar Kumar Pandey and Joint Director, Intelligence Bureau, Bengaluru.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) S K Pattanayak had sought a report on the security issues arising from the LIC Tower located opposite the Raj Bhavan, the Governor’s official residence and a high-security zone.

“Earlier, the State intelligence had made some suggestions, including installing bullet-proof glass and fixing CCTV cameras which can be monitored from the commissioner's office. After a meeting, the Home Department formed another committee to inspect the building and submit a report with suggestions.

The suggestions are similar to the ones proposed earlier. The additional point is that henceforth it should be mandatory to obtain prior approval of security agencies before taking up construction activity in one-km periphery of any vital installation in Bengaluru,” an official said.

The LIC Tower, which has a direct view of the governor’s residence, has raised security concerns since the time of its construction. Former governor H R Bhardwaj and a retired High Court judge had raised security concerns.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) S K Pattanayak held a meeting in the month of October and decided to form another committee, headed by the city police commissioner. The committee visited the building on November 23. Besides Raj Bhavan, there are other vital installations surrounding Raj Bhavan Road such as the Vidhana Soudha, the Karnataka High Court and the office of Defence Research and Development Organisation on Ali Asker Road.

“There is no ban on construction activity surrounding vital installations. However, we have suggested a few measures in view of the safety of the VVIP. The report also suggests that occupancy certificate can be issued only after implementing all the security measures suggested in the report,” the official said.

The property on Raj Bhavan Road, once owned by a person who later became a citizen of Pakistan, was purchased by Khoday Eshwarappa and sons. The Prestige Group entered into a joint development agreement with the Khodays and built the multi-storey building.

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