IMA fiasco could hit BBMP projects too

Last Updated 12 June 2019, 20:04 IST

The shutdown of the IMA Group could hit the BBMP, too.

Adonai Shelters Builders and Developers, a real estate firm, had reportedly entered into a joint venture with IMA Infrastructure and Developers, an entity of the IMA Group, to build skywalks across the city.

“Our key projects are bus shelters, gantry’s (sic), stacked parking facilities and skywalks. All projects are constructed together with Adonai Shelters Pvt Ltd in a joint venture,” reads a statement published on the IMA website about IMA Infrastructure and Developers.

According to the BBMP, Adonai won the contract for building 14 skywalks, two of which have already taken shape: One on the Outer Ring Road in Nagarabhavi and another on Rajaram Mohan Roy Road. The firm is currently constructing two more skywalks — in HSR Layout and KR Puram — but the work was suspended owing to the ongoing metro work and local issues.

BBMP records further show that Adonai bid for another 14 skywalks, of which it received the Letter of Acceptance (LOA) for two while the remaining 12 are under the technical evaluation process.

The BBMP awarded the skywalk contract to Adonai under the PPP model for 30 years. According to a BBMP official, building a skywalk costs Rs 2 crore.

This is what Srinivas M, Executive Engineer, Special Division, BBMP, had to say: “The tender document submitted by Adonai Shelters Pvt Ltd nowhere mentioned IMA Infrastructure and Developers as being in a joint venture. We are not concerned if they (Adonai) have a business deal with them.”

Some BBMP corporators claimed that Adonai was owned by former mayor R Sampath Raj, during whose term the skywalk tenders were awarded to the company.

Some advertisers confirmed that IMA held a meeting with them at its head office a few months ago and invited them for advertisement partnership deals on the skywalks being jointly built by IMA Infrastructure and Developers and Adonai.

Balakrishnan S, Managing Director, Adonai Shelters, asserted that IMA made no investment in his company although there were long-term plans for advertisements which did not work out. “IMA has no investment in Adonai but there were long-term plans on advertisements which did not work out. There was no agreement either,” he told DH. “I don’t know why they have taken our name on their website. Nonetheless, this is not going to affect our work. We will complete all the skywalks awarded to us.”

Curiously, he said Sampath Raj is his brother-in-law. When asked about the former mayor’s role in the matter, Balakrishnan said: “I am his brother-in-law. But we are not on good terms because of a property dispute. He did not help us get contracts. We have filed a suit against him for not giving us the share in my mother-in-law’s property,” he added.

Sampath Raj, for his part, claimed ignorance about the relationship between Adonai and IMA. “I am not aware of their business although he is my brother-in-law. I did hear that he was in talks with IMA for advertising on the skywalks but I didn’t bother as there is a land dispute between us,” he told this newspaper.

Sampath Raj added Adonai had been in the construction business since 2001 and had applied for skywalks before he became the mayor. “One can check the records of the company and will learn that I am in no way connected to their business. I didn’t help him get the skywalk contract,” he added.

(Published 12 June 2019, 19:43 IST)

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