Stating that the bids were invited for repair work on spots where advertisements are in place, the Bombay high court (HC), on Monday, refused to stay the tender process initiated by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd. (MSRDC).
The development authority had invited bids for advertisements on 10 major flyovers and two toll plazas in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai on September 19.
In his public interest litigation, Thane resident Praveen Sehgal had contended that the tenders sought to invite bids for displaying advertisements at major traffic junctions.
As illuminated advertisements obstruct visibility, it may lead to grave injury to public safety, he argued.
Since the bids did not pertain to new sites, the division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Roshan Dalvi refused to stay the process.
The judges also noted that the revenue generated through advertisements could be used for road repair.
Sehgal’s counsel, Neeta Karnik, said that the spots selected for new advertisements contravened the norms of the Indian Road Congress (IRC), accepted by the state government.
The IRC norms do not allow display of advertisements at major junctions on state highways, Karnik stated.
Advocate general Ravi Kadam said that the tender process was for the repair and modification of spots where advertisements are in place. “Though there is no clarity on distraction, people are certainly attracted by the advertisements,” Kadam said.