The BBMP has time until November 16 to shift shopkeepers from the old blocks of the Jayanagar Shopping Complex to the newly constructed Block-1. The Lokayukta set the fresh deadline after the BBMP commissioner sought 15 days to comply with its earlier order.
The corruption watchdog had swung into action after Ravi Krishna Reddy, of the Lancha Mukta Karnataka Nirmana Vedike, filed a complaint, highlighting how the civic body was losing precious rental income by keeping the newly constructed block unoccupied.
Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanath Shetty ordered the BBMP to take possession of the complex and shift the tenants to the new block. "The BBMP should take necessary care to protect the revenue that may be generated on account of letting out three floors," the Lokayukta said in a December 2017 order under section 12 (1) of the Lokayukta Act.
But the civic body didn't immediately comply with the order. On October 25, however, the BBMP commissioner sought 15 days.
"Though at one stage, I was inclined to direct the additional chief secretary, urban development department, to take over the building in question and to comply with my earlier order, since a submission is made on behalf of the BBMP commissioner that within 15 days, my earlier order will be complied with, I desist from making such an order today," Justice Shetty stated.
The complex, located in Jayanagar 4th Block, originally belonged to the BBMP but the state government handed it over to the BDA in 2010 for the construction of four blocks. In 2015, the BDA constructed Block-1, which consists of basement parking, ground and six floors. The block was to be used for temporary rehabilitation of vegetable vendors and other traders from the old blocks that are to be demolished for reconstruction. The BDA claimed it spent Rs 56.63 crore on the construction of Block-1.
In August 2017, the BDA requested the BBMP to take back the entire property, saying it can't spare any more funds on the construction. It also asked the BBMP to pay Rs 56.63 crore for the construction. The BBMP commissioner sought time to take possession, saying the Palike council's approval was needed.