BJP’s illegal hoardings issue drags on, UT MC seeks fresh reply from panel

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 03, 2016 15:45 IST
No notice has been issued yet to the Punjab BJP for putting up these illegal hoardings and banners in Sector 37. (HT File Photo)

Two months on, three member committee constituted to check the fine amount of Rs 1.80 crore on Punjab BJP over the violation of Advertisement Control Order Act, 1954, but members are passing the buck. On Thursday, joint commissioner of municipal corporation Varinder Chaudhary has sought explanation from all three members over the reply.

The three members of the committee are chief accounts officer of MC, Uma Shankar Gupta, executive engineer, Road division -1, Parveen Kumar Aggarwal and Law officer of MC, Rakesh Kumar.

On April 12, BJP has erected illegal hoardings and banners in Sector 37 to welcome newly elected state party president Vijay Sampala.

In its reply, Law officer Rakesh kumar has shown complete ignorance about any notification fixed for display of illegal advertisement.

He further stated that, since it is purely a financial matter, therefore officer of special duty-2, should prepare calculations and same may be verified from chief accounts officer.

Another member of the committee, Parveen Kumar Aggarwal simply stated that work of advertisement control does not come under his preview and area of sector 37/38 does not fall under the jurisdiction of this office.

While, chief accounts officer, Uma Shankar Gupta yet to give his reply.

On April 14, municipal corporation has calculated `1.8 crore fine to be imposed on Punjab BJP over the violation of Advertisement Control Order Act, 1954, but even after two months no notice has been issued.

As per the calculations of the civic body, there were around 50 flags and 8 hoardings displayed illegally by the BJP. As per the norms, MC charges `100 per square feet per day and the penalty is charged for a period of six months, irrespective if it is installed even for a day. The total measurement of illegal hoardings and boards was found out to be 875 square feet.

Surprisingly after the calculations, MC joint commissioner has constituted another committee comprising law officer, chief accounts officers and executive of road division-1 to check the fine amount, before it is sent to competent authority for approval.

When contacted, joint commissioner of MC, Varinder Chaudhary said, “The committee will give their reply within two days, following which we take further action,” he said.

Despite notice, MC fails to take action against congress

On September 16 last year, the then MC commissioner, Bhawana Garg, had issued a notice to Punjab Youth congress to deposit `67 lakh for using the civic body land to display posters and banners without permission, but now the case is referred to UT estate officer for the recovery under land arrear act.

The MC issued the notice to the Punjab Youth congress on September 14 for putting illegal hoarding and and banners at the Sectors 15/16 roundabout and the road dividing Sectors 11 and 25.

No action on 1300 notices since past two years

In a brazen example of lackluster approach of civic body , in past two years, MC issued more than 1300 notices for displaying hoardings, banners, etc “illegally without any approval from the Competent Authority. Even on August 4 last year, Finance secretary of UT accorded permission to recover the said amount, but MC to date has not even issued the letter to District Magistrate for the recovery.

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