BBMP, Bescom examine Occupancy Certificates after claims of corruption

Following the ACB complaint, Bescom has taken cognizance of the issue  

To circumvent paying huge bills to the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom), many applicants seeking new connections are allegedly submitting fake Occupancy Certificates of the power utility.

Several such cases have come to light over the past few months, claimed S. Amaresh, managing trustee of Right to Information Study Centre who has approached the Anti-Corruption Bureau to probe such discrepancies.

He alleged that applicants are working in collusion with corrupt civic officials in cases where there are bylaw violations. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) does not issue Occupancy Certificates to buildings that have violated building bylaws. “However, to get power connections, Occupancy Certificates are necessary. Building owners, along with a few corrupt civic officials, have been fabricating documents,” he said.

He cited a case of a building being issued Occupancy Certificate bearing the seal and sign of a civic official who had long been transferred from BBMP. “Occupancy Certificates are necessary for buildings that are above 4,000 sq ft in dimension to get power connections. Otherwise, only temporary power connections will be given, where the tariff is much higher,” he said.

Mr. Amaresh also alleged that for each Occupancy Certificate that is fabricated, civic officials pocket huge sums of bribe, and that he had filed a complaint about this with the ACB.

Mr. Amaresh has now demanded that an enquiry be held into the alleged scam and that Bescom disconnect power connections to buildings that have submitted such fabricated documents.

Following the ACB complaint, Bescom has taken cognizance of the issue. The power utility has issued a circular directing chief engineers of all its divisions to coordinate with their counterparts in the BBMP to ascertain if the Occupancy Certificates submitted were genuine or fabricated.

Bescom Managing Director Rajendra Cholan said the rule applied mostly to multi-storey buildings. “The power utility gets around 30-50 applications for new power connections a month. Bescom cannot certify if the Occupancy Certificate is genuine or not. Hence, we have directed our officials to coordinate with BBMP officials,” he said.

Officials in the BBMP’s town planning division, who spoke to The Hindu on condition of anonymity, said many applications have been forwarded to the civic body by Bescom. “Cases where documents have been fabricated are detected more in the zonal offices than in the head office. We are coordinating with Bescom officials,” they said.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 4:48:23 AM |

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