After the incident of rape of a TN resident at her PG a few months back, the BBMP should have started doing a survey on the number of paying guests mushrooming in its jurisdiction. The survey would have ensured to give them a gist of the economic potential and also about the safety mechanism adopted by them. Sadly, none of the officials knows about it. 

 

The BBMP officials at the ward level are the ones who were said to be the culprit as they struck a deal with paying guests complexes that have mushroomed across Bengaluru. 

 

"The engineers and revenue officials at low level are the ones in the field, and they know about a possible construction coming up. They will know about the purpose of the building and they will strike a deal with PG owners and make it residential instead of commercial. According to an estimation in 2014, there were 8,300 PGs and the revenue from that could fetch ₹70 crores to BBMP. But the BBMP gave a sketchy figure of about only 600 PGs," said NR Ramesh, Former Ruling Party Leader in BBMP.

 

Shivakumar Changelraya, a leader of Aam Admi Party also alleged that there are many PGs and that the local engineers and public representatives make a killing business out of them.

 

"The PG owners are threatened about the dumping of waste and cutting other civic amenities if they do not pay 'Hafta'. The BBMP officials themselves do not want the PGs to register as commercial as they fear the income coming from these PGs will go out from their pockets," he said.

 

By now, the BBMP may have registered 12,500 PGs across the city, but the authority still claims that figures given by activist may be exaggerated, opined NR Ramesh.

 

Refuting to the claims of over 10,000 PGs in BBMP's jurisdiction, the Chief Health Officer, Dr Lokesh said, "I remember giving only 1000 trade license for PGs, and all the license were given as the complexes have followed Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act," he said.

 

Another senior official from BBMP says, to check on the number of PGs in BBMP a massive exercise needs to be done for which more manpower is required. "BBMP does not have an exact figure on how many PGs it has under its jurisdiction, and hence revenue from PGs is going into mafia's  hand," said a senior official.