BENGALURU : The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) sleuths conducted massive search and seizure operations at 27 BBMP offices which revealed that staffers of various sections have allowed private parties to evade taxes, incurring losses of more than Rs 230 crore to the state exchequer.
Following complaints that BBMP staff and officers were involved in rampant corruption in connivance with advertising agencies, builders, and other companies, around 200 ACB sleuths raided 27 BBMP offices at 11 locations on Friday, and seized 45 files.
In the advertising section, ACB sleuths have found that the staff in connivance with private companies did not collect around Rs 230 crore.
“The staff has not collected rent, annual fees, advertising fees, GST, and other charges to the tune of Rs 230 crore from advertising agencies which have constructed bus stops and skywalks on a public-private partnership. Colluding with them for financial gains, the staff caused losses to the state exchequer,” an official release stated, adding that advertisements were allowed at bus stops without tender for the previous year.
Irregularities have been found in the transferable development rights (TDR) section as officials and staff have joined hands with their relatives, landowners, and middlemen. Allegedly the staff issued TDR fraudulently in Aduru, Rampura, Seegahalli, Whitefield, Varanasi, and other areas.
ACB teams have seized 21 files from the town planning section. Officers and engineers have allegedly received kickbacks from builders engaged in the construction of multi-story buildings. The scrutiny of files in the engineering section showed two bills were raised for single projects and were cleared.
The revenue section staff had collected bribes from property owners to allow lesser property tax and had not fixed the property tax for commercial buildings, apartments, as per rule, it was found. They have also favoured building owners by reducing the construction dimension in the records. “In some cases, they have also issued Khata including the government land to people who share boundaries of their property with government or kharab land,” the release added.
Two malls, hosps favoured
The search revealed that revenue section staff did not collect property tax from a private hospital and two malls.