BENGALURU: Two years after completion, the new building that has come up in the place of the iconic Puttanna Theatre in Jayanagar 4th Block stands unused.
The reason: a tug of war between merchants of the Shopping Complex and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
This is supposed to be the first of four blocks that are to give the Jayanagar Shopping Complex a makeover.
According to sources, hundreds of shops and parking lots lie vacant in the building located in a bustling commercial area.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding between the BBMP and the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), the construction of a four-block commercial complex for Rs 257.27 crore was proposed. The duration of the project was to be 32 months.
However, the BBMP and BDA have been able to complete only one block at the cost of Rs 50 crore. The construction commenced after the demolition of the theatre in mid-2012.
This was due to stiff resistance from vendors in the vegetable market, fish market, wholesale yard and cold storage areas. The civic agencies want them to shift temporarily to the new block.
But vendors want an assurance that their spots in the new block will correspond to the shop’s location in the vegetable market.
A multiplex and a multi-level car park have been planned for in the remaining blocks. But work on these cannot begin till the vendors agree to move.
Where Have All the Veggies Gone?
The vegetable market was originally planned for vegetable vendors in 1975. However, only a handful remain as most other shops are selling other wares.
At present, the vendors pay Rs 1,000 for a 72-sqft shop and Rs 2,500 for 128-sqft a shop as rent to the BBMP every month.
If the hike in rent ranging from 5 to 25 per cent comes into force, the total rent will touch Rs 4 crore a year. Now, the corresponding figure stands at Rs 2 crore, an official said.
The vendors are also reluctant to move because they would have to pay rent at the revised rates in the new building.
A source in the office of the Joint Commissioner, Bengaluru South, BBMP, told City Express that the issue has been resolved after a recent meeting with the vendors. It may take a month for the vendors to shift. Work on the remaining three blocks will begin soon after that, he said.
An official in BDA also gave a similar response. Negotiation with the vendors is complete, and the shops will move to new block soon. The contractor is ready to begin construction, the official said.