The Telegraph
Monday , July 14 , 2014
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Corporation’s market blues
PPP ventures on crutches

BMC’s Panchadeep market at Unit IV, (right) Bhawani mall at Saheed Nagar and (below) Keshari Mall at Unit-II in Bhubaneswar. Telegraph pictures

Bhubaneswar, July 13: Three markets developed by the municipal corporation in public-private-partnership mode at Unit-IV, Unit-II and Saheed Nagar are beset with multiple problems.

While the Unit IV market project is yet to become operational after 15 years, the Unit-II air-conditioned market has made major planning deviations. At Saheed Nagar, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is finding it difficult to sell its share though its partner had already done so years ago.

The six-storey Panchdeep Market at Unit-IV started construction in 1998, but it is yet to become operational.

While availability of land had been the main reason behind the delay in the past, sources said the private partner had written to the municipal corporation regarding the completion of the civil work and the engineering team from BMC will go and take the measurements within a fortnight.

“The market is built on a 383 decimal land where the builder and BMC will share a 65:35 proportion. While for ground floor the share is 72:28, for first floor it is 64:26. From second to the sixth floor the ratio is 69.4:30.6,” said a senior official, adding that in 2010, the displacement of 87 vendors from a portion of the land delayed the project and affected the pace of work.

Among the PPP projects, the Unit-II air-conditioned market (BMC-Keshari Mall) caused much embarrassment to the civic body as it was discovered last Thursday that the market had violated the building plan approval norms and were yet to take an occupancy certificate from the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA). Occupancy certificate is a must for multi-storey structures here.

“Not only it has failed to get occupancy certificate from the BDA, but on the top floor, a food court was constructed and this was not there in the original building plan. We have written to the BDA to check the structure for violations,” said head of BMC’s marketing section Srimanta Mishra.

The 70,000sqft Unit-II air-conditioned market built on 1.061 acres, was constructed in 2010 with a central air-conditioning unit, car parking on the terrace using lift, three side entrances along with open parking space for two-wheelers, two escalators, two lifts (capsule and general) and an atrium. The complex has 214 shops, of which BMC’s share is 35 per cent. However, as the structure has failed to get an occupancy certificate, the BMC has not received its share yet.

Mishra said that the air-conditioned market does not have adequate fire safety measures and the BDA officials have written to the fire services directorate to check it.

In case of the BMC-Bhawani Mall in Saheed Nagar, the civic body got 75.85 per cent of the commercial building and 30 per cent of the residential part. However, while the private partner has sold its part, the civic body is unable to dispose of its share. The combined value of BMC’s share in the three PPP markets is between Rs 135 and Rs 140 crore, according to present market rate.

Interestingly, while all the PPP projects should have been executed through the project cell of the civic body, the engineering wing, ignoring official norms, directly executed them.

Having burnt its fingers once, the BMC, which is getting ready for another PPP project on a 2.6acre plot in Saheed Nagar, has decided not to have physical share in the project. Instead, it will have its share converted into cash to be paid by the promoter.

“The request for proposal for the project was advertised last week by the BMC. But this time, we will seek money instead of acquiring physical share in the building as this is becoming a burden on us,” said an engineer.

The 2.6-acre land, behind the Nandankanan zoo director’s office, was earlier earmarked for a public library. However, the BMC wants to develop it into a residential-cum-commercial area to raise funds.

The civic body, on the other hand, has also decided to construct the new Unit-I daily market on its own at an estimated cost of Rs 75 crore.