'It's better to shut down civic body' | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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'It's better to shut down civic body'

Taking serious note of the callous attitude of the state and civic bodies towards issues affecting the people, the Bombay high court on Thursday suggested that it is better to pull the plug on them.

mumbai Updated: Sep 30, 2011 01:40 IST
Mohan K Korappath

Taking serious note of the callous attitude of the state and civic bodies towards issues affecting the people, the Bombay high court on Thursday suggested that it is better to pull the plug on them.

"You better close down your corporation," a division bench of justices PB Majmudar and RM Sawant said. "What kind of administration work are you doing?" the court asked. "You are very bold. No amount of criticism has any effect," justice Majmudar said.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Clear Channel Mumbai Private Limited, which is challenging the revocation of its no objection certificate (NOC) for advertisements on traffic pedestals in the city.

The petitioners had an NOC from the traffic police for displaying ads on 86 traffic pedestals for which they were paying charges to the corporation. Following the revocation, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had annulled the contract.

The court upheld the decision of the traffic police, but not on the grounds argued by it. The civic body had awarded the contract without floating any tenders, which irked the judges. "It will tarnish the image of the government if there is no transparency," they observed.

Counsels Pravin Samdani and Zubin Behramkamdin, appearing for the petitioners, contended that they will incur huge losses and there is nothing in the affidavit filed by the traffic police which provides a convincing reason for withdrawal of the NOC.

The court also expressed displeasure with the affidavit filed by Brijesh Singh, additional commissioner of police (traffic), which states that the NOC was withdrawn due to the adverse observation by the high court in a 2008 case, and damaging media reports on the issue.

The court said that although public-private ventures must be encouraged, they should be implemented by calling tenders and giving equal opportunity to everyone. It also cautioned that the citizens are more vigilant these days and the authorities should be on their toes.

Assistant government pleader Shekhar Ingawale said that henceforth no permission will be given to anyone for setting up a traffic pedestal, nor will they issue any tenders for the same.