VASANTHNAGAR: Three years ago, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) set up a multi-utility complex at Vasanthnagar 7th Cross at a cost of `1 crore. Today, the building is being used to dump waste and tether cattle.
An old market was demolished to make space for the complex in 2006. After five-and-a-half years, the building was completed. Residents had hoped the complex would house a post office, a Bangalore One centre and a market.
But three years on, none of the 29 shops in the building have been leased out and no offices have been set up. According to Rajkumar Dugar, general secretary of Vasanthnagar Residents’ Welfare Association, the locals’ efforts to get at least the market opened have not borne fruit.
“We approached both officials and elected representatives several times during the last three years. However, nothing has been done. The public’s money was spent on constructing the building and it has all gone to waste. The BBMP has failed to generate revenue from the building,” he said.
Sriram L, a member of the association who resides behind the complex, told City Express that people have started holing up in the building to drink, smoke and conduct illicit activities. Many rooms have been stripped of wiring and switches. “What is surprising is that the BBMP has been paying the electricity and water bills for the building, but it has done nothing to put it to use.”
He added that the temporary meat shops set up close to the building stand atop a drain, and relocating them to the complex would help expand the road.
According to S B Patil, another resident, the civic body has been incurring an annual loss of around `18 lakh over the building. “Officials should be held responsible. The amount wasted should be recovered from them,” he said.
Some residents have attributed the delay in opening the building to political differences between the local MLA and corporator, who are from different parties.
Meanwhile, officials maintained that the issues would be sorted out soon. Joint Commissioner (East) Prabhulinga Kavalikatti said, “The issue could not be addressed because of the BBMP elections. Now, we will look into the matter.”
Lakshmi Devi R, Deputy Commissioner (East), said the authorities have not decided when to inaugurate the complex. She added that a surprise inspection will be held to weed out those conducting illicit activities in the complex.