Palike will auction over 6,000 shops in its 130 markets
The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is determined to bring in more revenue into its coffers. The latest move is to auction over 6,000 shops in the 130 markets that it owns, including K.R. Market, Russel Market and Johnson Market.
This move is a major component of the new market policy.
According to sources, the policy is still being worked out. “Only the basic outline of the policy is ready. Senior officials are still hammering out proposals to make the policy tight, without loopholes,” they said.
The revenue flow from the markets with over 6,000 shops is just around Rs. 18 crore, with the pending rent totalling up to Rs. 53 crore. “The markets are located in prime locations. However, the rent is also low. In some cases, it is Rs. 100 a month,” the sources added.
Under the new market policy, the BBMP will auction the shops for a 30-year period, while retaining ownership of the common facilities. The new policy will help curb irregularities in the maintenance and functioning of the markets.
Earlier, the BBMP used to lease the shops. However, the sources said that original allottees had transferred the ownership and in some cases even sub-leased it. “As and when the lease period comes to end, the civic authority will auction the shops,” the sources said.
The sources also said that the funds from auctioning the shops would be put into a corpus and the interest could be used for maintenance, repayment of loans or infrastructure projects even. Officials had been directed to detect the unauthorised transfer of ownership of the shops and cancel them immediately. “Many allottees have either transferred the ownership or sub-leased the shop. They are surviving at the cost of the BBMP. We must put an end to it,” the officials have been told.
Meanwhile, BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah conceded that the Markets Department was “most mismanaged in the BBMP.” “As and when the leases expire, the shops may be auctioned. This way, the BBMP will surely get more revenue,” he said. He also said once the policy is formulated, it will be brought before the Council for approval. “The BBMP Council will also have to pass a resolution to only use the interest from the corpus. The BBMP can add to the corpus every year by earmarking Rs. 100 crore to Rs. 300 crore in the budget,” he said.