BENGALURU: At a time when the nation is attempting to clean itself up, the Bengaluru Development Authority complexes in the city are turning into filthy dens where illegal activities are carried out.
In RT Nagar, the women’s toilet in the complex has turned into a kitchen for security guards, while in Koramangala, the guards use the toilet as a sleeping cabin. In Indiranagar, the toilets do not have water and the ceiling at Domlur BDA Complex is cracked and can crash at any moment. Most parts of the complex are in bad condition and need to be razed and rebuilt.
The complexes in Nagarbhavi, Austin Town and Koramangala also need immediate attention, as the safety of the occupants is at stake.
The 12 complexes under BDA’s jurisdiction are in pathetic condition, with open electrical points and accumulation of garbage and filth at some places.
“The complex has been in bad shape for a few years now. The women’s toilet on the ground floor now serves as a kitchen. During rains, mosquitoes breed in the complex,” said Puttaswamy, a member of RT Nagar BDA Shopping Complex Traders’ Association.
The RT Nagar BDA Complex houses around 66 shops. About three years ago, the shopkeepers’ association complained to the officials about the poorly lit premises, the loitering drunkards, the clogged stormwater drains among many other issues. But there has been no response so far.
In BDA’s north zone, the Rajmahal Vilas and HBR Layout complexes have similar maintenance issues. “The RT Nagar BDA Complex has 66 shops that bring us an annual revenue of Rs68,899. In HBR Layout, there are 36 shops that make Rs2,55,046 a year and at Rajmahal Vilas, there are 21 shops that generate Rs2,52,920. The total revenue stands at Rs4,76,865. There was a proposal to raze a few BDA complexes and construct new buildings, but it has yet to materialise,” said Tejas Kumar, revenue officer, BDA.
In the west zone, where there are three complexes, Nagarbhavi comprises 44 shops and here too, there are sanitation issues. “The rentals from these shops is Rs6,22,387 per month. At the Vijayanagar complex, there are 34 shops and except five commercial ones, all of them are occupied by government agencies. Every month, Rs38,438 is collected from here. Nandini Layout and Basveshwara Nagar complexes are small and have only two and five shops respectively,” said an official.
In south, there are 112 shops in a single complex. There are maintenance issues here as well. As the commercial value is much higher here, the BDA earns about Rs4 crore from the shops annually.
Broken doors and fences, garbage accumulation and lack of ramps for disabled people are a few problems at the Indiranagar BDA Complex, which has 133 shops.
In Domlur, the complex houses 50 shops and a Marriage Sub-Registrar Office. Even though there is a toilet here, it doesn’t have water supply and the doors are locked. The ceiling is broken and a tragedy awaits.
In Koramangala, the complex has over 100 shops. As the RTO is in the complex, seized vehicles often get piled up here.
The Austin Town complex, with 99 shops, has no toilets at all. The power junction board here is kept open. “People have been complaining about the leaky roof and also about the place being misused. Often, people come here to take drugs in a dilapidated shop,” said Kuppuswamy, a shoe store owner.
“There has been a proposal to remodel the complexes since 2008. But there are some issues and we are trying to resolve them. Negotiations for a public-private partnership model are in progress and we are taking up modernisation,” said a BDA official.
In Koramangala (top), security guards sleep in the loo of the BDA complex while in RT Nagar (left) they use it to cook; in 12 complexes electrical points are exposed