BANGALORE: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is planning to sign joint venture (JV) agreements with private firms to develop its markets.
M Krishnappa, Deputy Commissioner (Markets), said the current market revenue is around `11.21 crore, and after the partnerships and revision of rents, it is expected to increase to around `20.29 crore.
“By giving these markets for joint ventures, a good increase in revenue is expected. From the Maharaja Complex at Majestic, Total Mall at Madiwala and Garuda Mall on Magrath Road, BBMP is earning over `8 crore a year through rent alone,” Krishnappa said.
According to BBMP’s Markets Department, six markets in east zone and seven each from south and west zones are being considered for joint ventures.
Y R Gowramma, chairman of BBMP’s standing committee on markets, said the civic body is currently not in a position to spend on rebuilding its dilapidated markets.
“We are working on the modalities of joint ventures. There are encroachment issues and not all markets have allottees. We have sent notices to all 121 markets and asked them to submit all their documents in two weeks,” he said. The documents will be studied and digitised.
Krishnappa also said the civic body wants to introduce electronic rental bills for market tenants. He said at present, some tenants are paying as little as 95 paise per sqft. “One such tenant has gone to court against our rent revision notice. In the same locality, private firms charge a minimum of `300.” However, BBMP plans to fix `30 per sqft as monthly rent.
Vendors Seek Reasonable Rents
Hanumaiah, a vendor at Gandhi Bazaar vegetable market, said the market was set up in 1979 and a rent of `30 per sqft was collected as advance from all allottees. In 2007, a notice was issued, stating that each shop owner has to pay `1,080 as the monthly rent and recently, it was increased to `1,213. “This is too much for us vendors as there are no water and toilet facilities here. If BBMP plans to sign JVs, they should make temporary arrangements,” he said. Hanumayya added that the shops should be re-allotted after the markets are developed or rebuilt.
Ramesh, another vendor, claimed that many houses have come up in Gandhi Bazaar area. “There are around 35 shops in the market area. The idea to reconstruct the market is good, but the shops should be allotted at reasonable rates,” he added.
‘Make Interim Arrangements’
Meanwhile, the BBMP Opposition has supported the plan to sign joint ventures, but insisted on temporary arrangements for shopkeepers. Jayamahal ward councillor M K Gunashekhar said according to the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, market maintenance is the responsibility of the BBMP and signing JVs is a feasible means to this end. He conceded that BBMP will have its hands full convincing allottees.
Meanwhile, BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana said the civic body’s revenue was hit as it had failed to revise revenues properly. He cited the example of SKR Market, where the maintenance cost is more than the revenue it generates. “The rents here were revised long ago and are very low in today’s context.”
On Russell Market at Shivajinagar, he said, “If we collect rent from the vendors, it amounts to encouraging illegal occupancy. We need cooperation from the vendors. They should bring a safety certificate from a recognised agency if they want to remain there.”