A sum of Rs. 58 crore is due to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) as rent from commercial buildings rented out across the city.
Speaking to presspersons here on Friday, Padmanabha Reddy, Floor Leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) in the BBMP Council, said that for the past three years, officials had failed in their duty. “There may be hundreds of such instances. The BBMP does not levy any interest for failure to pay the rent, though the commercial buildings, including malls, earn huge revenue from our property,” he said.
He said that rent amounting to Rs. 28.67 crore was pending from the South Zone, Rs. 6.98 crore from the West Zone and Rs. 22.84 crore from the East Zone. The officials had collected just Rs. 3.72 crore as rent in the 2010-11 from commercial buildings in all zones.
The major defaulters include Public Utility Building (Rs. 11.07 crore), Shankar Nag cinema (Rs. 4.28 crore), Garuda Mall (Rs. 6.08 crore), Jayanagar Shopping Complex (Rs. 15.11 crore) and APMC (Rs. 2.84 crore). “The previous commissioners have not taken any steps to collect the rent from the occupants of these buildings, but the BBMP continues to pay the water and power bills of these buildings,” he said.
He urged Commissioner Siddaiah and Mayor S.K. Nataraj to take immediate action. “The civic authority's financial status is not healthy. The BBMP has loans amounting to Rs. 3,400 crore and pending bills amounting to around Rs. 4,000 crore. We must plug all leaks and ensure that the revenue flow is not affected,” he said.
Reacting to these allegations, Mr. Siddaiah said that all pending amount would be collected at the earliest. He said that the BBMP had initiated a drive to ensure that all dues are paid.
About the K.R. Market incident where shopkeepers assaulted BBMP officials who were trying to collect dues, he said they had brokered a deal. “They have assured us they will pay rent every month and also clear their arrears in instalments,” he said.