Vendors say the civic agency is ‘hand in glove’ with unauthorised shopkeepers

Mounds of uncleared garbage with cows ruminating lazily on them. Scrap materials and vehicles seized by the police gathering dust. Narrow and crowded passages with vendors and shoppers vying for space.

This was the scene at K.R. Market when Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy inspected it on Thursday.

The local vendors’ association ‘greeted’ the Mayor by raising slogans against the lack of basic facilities and fire safety measures. Diwakar, president of the K.R. Market Flower Merchants’ Association, alleged that Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials, especially local Assistant Revenue Officer (ARO), were hand in glove with unauthorised shopkeepers. He claimed that BBMP officials leased out 10 unauthorised shops and were planning to lease 36 more that were “ready.” “I will recommend the suspension of the ARO, who is on leave,” the Mayor said.

At Kempe Gowda Maharaja Complex, he found that the revenues from the complex had reduced, while the parking fee had not been revised for eight years. As per the agreement, the BBMP should get Rs. 32 lakh from parking and Rs. 50 lakh from shops. In 2011-12, the BBMP could garner Rs. 23 lakh from parking.

Though it estimated to collect Rs. 25 lakh from parking in 2012-13, the BBMP could collect only Rs. 5 lakh, as mentioned in the 2013-14 budget. He said he would recommend disciplinary action against officials. Only one floor is being used at the multi-level parking complex on J.C. Road. Since the contract with the private agency to manage the complex ended six months ago, the BBMP has been managing it.

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