Legal? The Reliance Fresh outlet coming up inside the Cosmopolitan Club Pic/Satish Badiger
Clubs run by the rich and powerful are openly breaking the law to help their friends rake in the millions.Bowring Institute
on St Mark's Road has given out a part of its site for a petrol bunk, while Cosmopolitan Club
in Jayanagar has built a mall to house a Reliance Fresh
outlet. Both are illegal.
The clubs are located on plots leased out by the government on the condition that they will not be sublet or sold to anyone.Bowring Institute
The beneficiary of Bowring Institute's generosity is P V Shetty, father of Nitesh Shetty, founder of the upmarket real estate firm Nitesh Estates.
P V Shetty has been running the fuel station for 30 years. An ice cream stall functions from the same location.
So what's new? The club's office bearers are reportedly contemplating renewing the lease in January next year.
When MiD DAY contacted Prabhudeva, president of the club, he said, "It is too early to comment as the expiry date is in January. We may renew the lease or not. I need not tell you about it."
P V Shetty was not available for his comment.
The Bowring Institute is located on seven acres in the heart of the city. In 1955, the government leased the land to the club for 99 years, for an annual rent of Rs 30. You can't buy a snack in the vicinity for that price!
The deed says the lease is liable to be terminated if the land is sublet, or used for purposes other than those pertaining to the club. To circumvent that clause, the revenue department issued a notification in 1969, permitting the club to sublet a portion of the land to set up a petrol bunk.
The permission was given to Indian Oil Corporation, but P V Shetty enjoys control over the 150 by 100 ft area.
"The late Nagappa Alva, who was a minister then, influenced the government to favour P V Shetty," said a former president of the institute. "But the revenue department's notice is illegal as it violates the original lease condition."
No one has questioned the order in court, which is why the irregularity has remained largely unnoticed, he said.
P V Shetty reportedly paid a very small amount as rent till recently. He now pays Rs 31,000 a month, half of which goes to the revenue department and the other half to the club.
According to the lease agreement, the city corporation owns the land. But no one talks, and a conspiracy of silence protects the club.
Dr Subramanya, BBMP
commissioner, said he would rather not say anything about this violation. Cosmopolitan Club
Cosmopolitan Club, the pride of south Bangalore, is all set to gift a sprawling mall to the retail giant Reliance Fresh.
A four-storey building is coming up on its premises on a busy road in Jayanagar 3rd Block. The building will also accommodate a bowling parlour run by Amoeba.
How could a club give away precious real estate to two private parties, and that too for nothing, as it claims?
"It was approved at an annual general body meeting," said Y K Muddukrishna, former president of the club. "All members knew about it, and the initiative is purely in the club's interest."
The proposal was approved when he was the president in 2004-05. His successors are equally glad the deal has come through.
"We have to run the club and we need revenue," said Dr B L Rama Murthy, president of the club. "So we acceded to the request of our MLA and other politicians... they said the mall would help people of the locality."
The MLA he was referring to can't be the present legislator B N Vijaya Kumar.
"When we already have so many shopping centres in Jayanagar, what was the need for a Reliance Fresh inside a social club?" he wondered.
Vijaya Kumar told MiD DAY he had opposed the mall proposal as it violated the rules of the club.
The club is located on 1.5 acres of what is called a civic amenities site. No commercial establishments are allowed on civic amenities sites. The BDA had leased out the land for 30 years and the lease was renewed a couple of years ago.
A source said the club paid Rs 3 lakh to the BDA
as lease amount. It's wrong
"They can't have any such establishment on a CA site," said Siddaiah, BDA commissioner. "I will ask my officers to look into it."
The building also violates municipal bylaws. The BBMP has already issued a notice and the case is pending. "The court will pronounce its judgment any time," said a BBMP engineer.
Reliance Fresh is paying no rent to the club.
"They maintain the mall and share their revenue with us. We are not going to collect rent from them," said Rama Murthy.
A sceptical member wondered how could Reliance Fresh could get such a huge building at a prime location free of cost.Anyone looking?
Bowring Institute- Gave away land to petrol bunk.- Could lose all 7 acres if lease clause against misuse is enforced.
- Has built a mall to house Reliance Fresh and Amoeba.- BBMP has filed a case; BDA says club's action is illegal.
Rs 30- That's the annual rent paid by Bowring Institute to the government for 7 acres on St Mark's Road