Several paying guest accommodations operating illegally in Koramangala, BTM Layout, and Madiwala have come under the scanner of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). On Sunday, officials searched these accommodations only to find them functioning illegally and in unhygienic conditions.
“Most of them do not have trade licences and are repeat offenders. We collected fines of about Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000 per PG depending on its size. We have the authority to shut these down and have warned them that the next time we will,” said Bhayalakshmi, Health Officer.
According to her, most of the PGs had dirty premises and their kitchens were filthy. “Most of them failed to segregate waste before handing it over to the sanitation worker. They were fined for this as well,” she said.
In 2015, the BBMP had put accommodations with more than 12 paying guests under the commercial buildings bracket.
“This means, they need trade licence to operate. And they have to pay higher taxes, equal to how a commercial enterprise pays. Most of these PG do not get themselves trade licence despite repeated reminders, to avoid paying tax,” said the BBMP spokesperson, adding that there may be close to 8,000 PGs in the city but only around 500 to 600 fall in the commercial tax bracket and were registered.
Meanwhile, those living in PGs said that if regular raids were conducted and PG owners were forced to maintain standards, then it could only benefit them. “Most of these PGs have rooms that accommodate six people when it is meant for just two, and the pricing is disproportionate to what it is worth,” said Greeshma Shankar, a working professional who recently moved out of a double sharing single room, which came at a cost of Rs. 10,000 excluding food, in Koramangala.
‘Most of them do not have trade licences and are also repeat offenders’
Source : http://www.thehindu.com/