Bengaluru: Mushrooming illegal PGs a growing threat

BENGALURU: In a shock for their occupants  a pervert broke into five paying guest accommodations for women in Bellandur in one day and sexually assaulted them. On investigation the police found  the CCTVs installed were dummies. But the men were not spared either  as thieves broke into a men's PG accommodation in Malleswaram and got away with a haul of mobile phones and other valuables. 

The threat to the PG accommodations in the city continues as they mushroom, violating all rules laid down for their functioning. Although under the rules every PG must be registered with the BBMP, have obtained a trade licence issued by it, should inform the jurisdictional police station and  enrol in the list of PGs in the area, several don’t bother to follow any chiefly owing to official apathy.

"Anyone who has a two or three floor building and wishes to make some quick money can with the help of a carpenter , make two or three or four compartments and start renting them out. It will not even even matter whether the building is  in a residential area or not," rues a resident of Tavarekere, which has a number of PG accommodations. 

Besides Tavarekere, they are found in Madiwala, Bellandur, Varthur, Bommanahalli, Electronic City, Koramangala, Adugodi, Ejipura, Vijayanagar, Whitefield, Mahadevapura, Marathahalli, K R Puram, Byappanahalli, Hebbal, HSR Layout, Lakkasandra, Malleshwaram, Rajajinagar and Chamrajpet . Majority of their occupants are from other parts of the state and country and are employed with IT firms or are students in local colleges.

Unfortunately, the, BBMP,which should have a list and the total number of PGs in the city,  is absolutely clueless. When DC visited areas like Tavarekere and Bommanahalli, it found people mainly from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana running them, offering three time food along with accommodation and free Wi-fi. They charge anywhere between `5,000 for a room shared by four to `20,000 for one room and make lakhs every month.

Meanwhile, the BBMP is  losing  its rightful revenue through the trade license they should apply for and is fooled by PG accommodations  run as commercial businesses, paying property tax for a residential building. 

When contacted, Mayor, Sampath Raj, admitted to many illegal PGs running in the city. "I am aware of the incident of a pervert barging into women PGs. When we are trying to improve the safety of women in the city, these incidents happen, really embarrassing us," he said, promising to discuss the issue with city Police Commissioner, Suneel Kumar and BBMP officials and take measures to weed out the illegal PGs.

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