Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) councillors have blamed local BJP leaders for the delay in implementation of advertising policy, anomalies pertaining to trolleys lifting garbage and construction of illegal buildings, resulting in immense losses to the cash-strapped Amritsar municipal corporation and have demanded a probe into all these issues.
In a representation submitted to municipal commissioner Pradeep Sabharwal, the SAD councillors, led by senior deputy mayor Avtar Singh Truckanwala, have urged him to the constitute committees to look into these irregularities. They claimed that these are taking place with the connivance of the BJP leaders and MC officials.
Giving details, Truckanwala said that the MC was facing financial losses to the tune of more than `15 crore per annum on account of delay on its part to implement the advertising policy of the government. "The government has introduced an advertising policy, but the MC authorities are yet to implement the same for reasons best known to them," he said.
He added that as of now the MC was hardly earning any money in terms of advertising revenue, whereas it could have made good income on this account which could have augmented its poor financial health. He maintained that one such case in point was that of myriad hoardings at the Crystal Chowk. "The MC does not earn even a paisa from these," he claimed.
"The MC stands to earn a fortune if the advertising policy is implemented. We have urged the authorities concerned to constitute a committee to probe the matter and find out where the revenue is going," he said.
According to Truckanwala, the actual number of private tractor trolleys hired by the MC for lifting garbage far exceeds the number that has been shown in the MC's records. "Whereas the records show that the MC hired around two dozen of these, in reality the number touches sixty or more. This needs to be looked into," he said.
The SAD councillors also charged the BJP with abetting the construction of illegal buildings in the city. They also alleged that local bodies minister Anil Joshi had given them a cold shoulder when they approached him to get some works through.
Giving himself a clean chit, mayor Bakshi Ram Arora said that no illegal buildings had come up in the city at his behest. "As far as I am concerned, I have never abetted the construction of even a single illegal building in the city. I have asked municipal commissioner Pradeep Sabharwal to form committees to probe the irregularities that have been pointed out by the SAD councillors so that action can be initiated in this regard," he said.