Lobo suggests taking tender or auction route to raise money to restart construction

Funds crunch has hit the construction of a five-storey market complex at Bejai. The Mangalore City Corporation has been constructing the building for more than four years now.

The issue came to light during an inspection of the building by Mangalore City South MLA J.R. Lobo on Tuesday. Now the first floor of the building is under construction.

The vendors, who were in the building, are now continuing their trade on the roadside, adjoining the gate of a school-cum-church premises. The then minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada J. Krishna Palemar had laid the foundation stone for the complex on August 25, 2009.

Jayaprakash, Executive Engineer – II, of the corporation told Mr. Lobo on the spot that of the Rs. 4 crore budgeted for the project, Rs. 60 lakh had been paid to the contractor. A provision of Rs. 1.4 crore had been made in the second instalment from the Rs. 100-crore special grant expected to the civic body from the government, but the amount was yet to be released.

Then Mr. Lobo suggested that the officials and Lancelot Pinto, a senior councillor representing Bejai ward and Prakash Saliyan from Kodialbail ward in whose jurisdiction the building is being built, to work out a financial model for raising funds for the construction.

He suggested to them that the new elected body should take up this matter in its first council meeting.

Mr. Lobo, a former Commissioner of the corporation, suggested that the civic body could moot tender-cum-auction proposal for raising funds by allotting shops for commercial purpose in the building. “May be tender or auction… see whichever fetches highest revenue,” he said.

The MLA said that those traders who have been shifted from the old market building there should be given priority in allotting shops after completing the building. The traders shifted are now doing business on makeshift tents on roadside in front of St. Francis Xavier Church at Bejai.

Mr. Lobo suggested to the officials that enough ventilation should be provided to traders in the ground floor for selling vegetables. Otherwise they would keep the vegetables in the pathway, he said.

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