The delay by the cashstrapped Patiala Municipal Corporation (PMC) in framing bylaws for its advertisement policy has been hindering the regulation of this major incomegenerating source for the civic body.
In April, the state government had notified the civic body to frame laws and pass them in the general house meeting by June 30. But, the PMC's failure to do so has heaped losses worth crores on it.
However, it was learnt that no general house meeting has been held by the PMC since the Lok Sabha election. This has raised questions about the seriousness of the officials in trying to streamline income-generation sources.
Sources in the PMC revealed that the local bodies' department had issued several reminders, but to no avail.
"Even the commissioner and other higher officials have asked Mayor Amarinder Bajaj, from time to time, to hold the general house meeting to pass a resolution regarding the newly framed bylaws. But, their direction has been ignored every time," said the source.
"As per the norm, the state gover nment would notify the bylaws once the Patiala Municipal Corporation passes them," added the source.
After being notified of the advertising policy, the PMC authorities had
constituted a special committee of experts including high-ranking officials from the police department and local administration to compile rules and regulations to be adopted during the implementation of the policy.
"The committee has already submitted the bylaws, which have also been forwarded to the mayor," claimed the source.
The Patiala Municipal corporation's losses can be gauged from the fact that it has earned nothing so far through advertising, one of the main sources of its income generation, in the financial year 2014-15 whereas it set a collection
target of Rs 2.5 crore from advertising in its budget.
This target is a crore higher than its target of Rs 1.5 crore last year.
The lack of bylaws has led to an increase in violations as many illegal hoardings and posters are now seen defacing public property in the city.
However, mayor Amarinder Bajaj said the bylaws required some amendments to be made in them before being presented in the general house meeting. "We have decided to hold the general house meeting next week and the agenda would include passing of the bylaws about advertising policy", he said.
However, a date for the general house meeting is yet to be finalised by the Municipal Corporation.