BWSSB drags Gazetteer dept to court over office space

It is quite common for private buildings owners to resort to various tactics like increasing rent, dragging tenants to court to force them to vacate. But in a bizarre incident Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has dragged a government agency Gazetteer department to court when they failed leave rented space in Cauvery Bhavan in the city. The Gazetteer department has been functioning from the building for close to 35 years.

An official of the Gazetteer department said, “The BWSSB has been making several attempts to evict us. These owner and tenant fights are quite common in private buildings. But it is unheard of in government buildings.”

“A government agency is asking another agency to vacate the place is something very rare. We have already placed the concerns with higher officials in the department and fighting the situation.”

The gazetteer department, as unit, has been functioning in the state since 1958. It is currently, functioning under the department of Information, Tourism and Kannada and Culture. In addition to publishing gazetteers, the department also comes out with various publications like handbook of Karnataka and other specialized publications,” he added.

The official said, “Prior to asking us to vacate, the BWSSB had asked us to pay the rent as per the revised amount and we had agreed. Earlier, we were paying Rs 53,000 per month now we are paying Rs 80,000. Last time they had asked us to leave by December 13. We have employee strength of 32 but as of now. There are many vacancies and currently 15 people are working. If we had a good place to move we could have moved by now. It is up to the higher-ups to decide on the issue. We believe it is not only our department, the BWSSB wants even other departmental offices functioning on premises to go.”

The Cauvery Bhavan has been a landmark in the city. The building which has nine floors was built in the year 1970s. It is not only government departments, the BWSSB had rented out spaces to even private organisations like banks. Chief Administrative Officer Jagadish said, “Over the years jurisdiction of the BWSSB increased and, it is not only limited core areas of city now. As the area increased, our projects and responsibilities have increased manifolds. We require more space to carry out our day to day administrative works. The issue of vacating offices has not been there for quite a long time. We are ready to amicably resolve the issue and the same things will be placed before our Board.”

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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