Ownership of site still under dispute, traffic is a mess around it
Even last year, Malleswaram residents would never have dreamed Sampige Road would turn into a nightmare.
Things have come to such pass that a traffic survey by a private agency determined that the road opposite Mantri Square needs to be widened by at least 7.5 metres.
No promised road
Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, Leader of Opposition in Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council M. Nagaraj alleged that the traffic density on Sampige Road had increased after the mall opened. “In February this year, Mantri Developers claimed that they would lay a 60-ft wide road behind the mall (between Rajiv Gandhi Circle and Railway Parallel Road) in three months at a cost of Rs. 3.5 crore. There is no progress even after 10 months,” he said.
Though there was a site ownership issue and the plan for Namma Metro station had not been approved, work had already been taken up. “The case is being heard in the High Court. Residents of the Jaibheem Nagar Slum have to be rehabilitated.”
As per the original plan, the developer should have left 16 m space around.
“However, BBMP officials, in collusion with Mantri, reduced it to 8 m. The justification was that the developer would lay the 60-ft road,” Mr. Nagaraj said. They also reneged on the promise to maintain the footpaths around the mall.
On October 30, the Chief Engineer, West Zone, had recommended that the Occupancy Certificate issued to Mantri Developers in February be withdrawn as they had failed to act on preconditions.
The developer had not sought permission from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and had not left 10 per cent of the property vacant as specified under the building bye-laws, for which the BBMP had levied a Rs. 34.82-crore fine. “Though the developer has not yet paid the fine, the plan was approved.”
Mr. Nagaraj alleged that Mantri Developers had even constructed on one acre and six guntas of kharab land in Gubbalalu village, Uttarahalli hobli, as was revealed during a survey conducted by Deputy Commissioner (Estates).
Mr. Nagaraj urged the Government to order a Lokayukta inquiry into all the projects taken up by big, private builders in the city.