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Supreme Court allows NDMC to e-auction Taj Mansingh

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The Hindu       21.04.2017 

Supreme Court allows NDMC to e-auction Taj Mansingh

Taj Mansingh Hotel on Thursday.R.V. Moorthy  

Hotel to get six months to wind up if Tatas lose bid

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the green signal to the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to e-auction the Taj Mansingh Hotel.

A bench of Justices P.C. Ghose and Rohinton Nariman agreed with the NDMC’s argument that the first right of refusal is in-built in the very process of e-auction as the highest offer is open before bidders.

This way, the NDMC convinced the court that there was no need to provide the Tata Group’s Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), which had “collaborated” with the NDMC in the latter half of the 1970s to construct and run the five-star hotel, the first right of refusal to match the highest bid at the auction.

The court, however, said the NDMC should keep in mind the blemishless manner in which the Tatas had run the hotel for over three decades, and this legacy should feature the foremost at the auction.

The court observed that in case the Tatas lose out in the auction, they should be gracefully given a period of six months to wind up their commitments at the hotel and leave.

“We respect the decision of the honourable Supreme Court and intend to participate in the e-auction when it is held. We stay committed to our colleagues and guests, whose loyalty and trust remains our biggest asset.” a spokesperson of Taj Hotel said in Mumbai.

Agrees with HC

The Supreme Court has in a way confirmed the conclusions arrived at by the Delhi High Court in the latter’s 52-page judgment on October 27, 2016.

The High Court judgment had held that “unless there is a social or a welfare purpose or any other public interest which is served, an asset held for the benefit of the public if commercially exploited, should be by way of an auction or an open competitive bidding because it would then fetch the maximum revenue.”


Corpn. to rethink Jio tower proposal

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The Hindu     20.04.2017 

Corpn. to rethink Jio tower proposal

The Corporation Council has decided to rethink the proposal of Reliance Jio Infocom Limited and Indus Towers Limited for setting up high-mast lights, WiFi and 4G facility in various centres in the city.

The finance standing committee of the corporation had decided to permit the two companies to set up high-mast multi-purpose towers at road junctions, playgrounds and parks within the corporation jurisdiction by levying a rent of Rs. 5,000 per tower per month.

However, when the decision was put before the council for approval, the opposition raised objections. Congress councillor P.M. Niyas suggested that the corporation should invite an expression of interest in the case and that Rs. 5,000 per tower was very low for such a facility. Hence the council sent it back to the standing committee for further proceedings.

Earlier, the corporation cancelled the scheduled foundation stone-laying function of the water treatment plant under Kudumbasree’s ‘Theertham’ project on TB centre premises on Francis Road. Many residents associations in the region had complained to the corporation that such a facility would lead to severe water scarcity in the region, already hit by drought. They opposed the plan to dig a well in the plot to extract groundwater, to be purified and bottled to be sold under the aegis of the Kudumbasree.



MCC staff protest harassment of official by corporator

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Deccan Herald       13.04.2017 

MCC staff protest harassment of official by corporator

Mysuru, Apr 13, 2017, DHNS:

Councillor Nataraj accused of harassing DO; Meet convened on April 15

People's representatives urge the agitating Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) staff to withdraw their protest on the MCC  premises in Mysuru on Wednesday. Mayor M J Ravikumar, Corporators Nandeesh Preetham, Sandesh Swamy, B L Bhyrappa are also seen. DH photo

People's representatives urge the agitating Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) staff to withdraw their protest on the MCC  premises in Mysuru on Wednesday. Mayor M J Ravikumar, Corporators Nandeesh Preetham, Sandesh Swamy, B L Bhyrappa are also seen. DH photo

Officials and employees of the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) staged a protest against Corporator (ward number 58) B M Nataraj on charges of harassing and using abusive language against a Development Officer.

The staffers staged a protest in front of the MCC main office in the city on Wednesday. The agitators, including a few civic workers, said that JD(S) Corporator Nataraj pressured and harassed Zone 9 development officer Ninga Shetty to approve road repair works before getting an official approval from MCC. The agitators said that it becomes difficult for them to work if the people’s representatives exert pressure on them to do illegal works.

The agitating employees, holding placards that read ‘respect government officials’, ‘stop goondaism’, raised slogans against Nataraj. However, the agitators called off the protest after Mayor M J Ravikumar promised to hold an enquiry and take appropriate action. The Mayor said he would convene a meeting in this regard on April 15.

According to Ninga Shetty, a contractor took up repair works of the Cauvery Main Road in Zone 9 before seeking an approval from MCC. As MCC Commissioner G Jagadeesha is deputed for bypoll duty in Nanjangud Assembly (reserved) constituency and because the model code of conduct is in force, the approval for works got delayed.

“Though I had explained to the corporator about the legal aspects, he used abusive language and mentally harassed me to approve the works,” Ninga Shetty said. Shetty has filed a case of mental harassment against the corporator.

MCC Commissioner G Jagadeesha told DH that people’s representatives should respect officials and obstructing their work is an offence. “There is no provision for issuance of new bills for old works and taking up the works without tender is not permissible,” the commissioner said. He said the issue has already been discussed with the Deputy Commissioner and will be taken up once the election duty is over.Nataraj was not available for comment.
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