Acting 11 months after it detected violation of advertising rules applicable in the city, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has issued a notice demanding Rs 2.36 crore from the Elante Mall for erecting hoardings of international brands outside the mall's walls.
The fine is for letting the hoardings to be displayed illegally for six months, beginning October 27, 2013. The fine has been charged at the rate of Rs 100 per square foot per day.
The notice asks for the amount to be paid within a month or the corporation will move court. The notice has been issued under Advertisement Control Order, 1954.
File went missing
In April last year, the MC, under the supervision of the joint commissioner Rajiv Gupta, conducted a survey of illegal displays at the mall and found several violations.
However, no action was taken and it is claimed that the official file documenting the violations went missing. When contacted, MC additional commissioner Sarita Malik said, "A notice has been issued to the general manager of the mall. The amount is to be paid within a month or legal action will be started."
She refused to comment on the delayed action, but claimed that the MC was working on issuing notices to other advertising contractors, which would be issued by the end of the month.
No notice issued over past decade
The MC has also been found sleeping over assessing and issuing notices to over nine advertising contractors for recovery of advertisement fee worth Rs 3 crore. In the past one decade, not even a single notice has been issued.
This is even as the contract of most of the companies got over in 2011 and 2014. This failure to recover dues and fines has also been reflected in the MC's financial functioning as its income so far this year has been only Rs 49 crore, 30% short of the target of Rs 70 crore.
Most such contracts are related to agreements of advertisements on public utilities in Chandigarh. All these agencies were given the contract on Built Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis for five years, which was also extended for a period of two years during last five to 10 years.
Brand Fine due
Quick Silver - Rs 27 lakh
Himalaya, the finest toys - Rs 13.5 lakh
Reliance Digital -Rs 27 lakh
Max - Rs 6.3 lakh
Zara - Rs 18 lakh
Life Style - Rs 1.1 crore
Reliance Trends - Rs 27 lakh
Splash - Rs 13.5 lakh