Heated arguments were witnessed on Friday between SAS Nagar municipal corporation senior deputy mayor and the commissioner over the allotment of bus queue shelters in the town.
Lashing out at MC commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta at the finance and contracts committee (F&CC) meeting, senior deputy mayor Manjit Singh Sethi said the bus queue shelters were allotted to a Delhi-based company, Pioneer Publicity, by overlooking the laid down procedure causing huge loss to the civic body. He said either the work of constructing the remaining 10 shelters would be given to some other company or the MC would construct the same on its own.
The committee also decided to dismantle six bus queue shelters set up on routes where there is no bus service. The committee members said the company constructed these shelters just to earn revenue from advertisements.
Even mayor Kulwant Singh said the MC was incurring huge losses as each bus shelter was allotted to the company at Rs 3,000 per month, whereas the company is earning in lakhs in the form of revenue from the advertisements put up on the bus shelters.
Reacting strongly, the commissioner said: “Do whatever you want.”
To this, Sethi said questioned the commissioner why technical experts were not taken into confidence before floating the tenders for the bus shelters.
The company was issues a show-cause notice in April for arbitrarily shifting locations of the two bus shelters. The shelter near the Dhanoa taxi stand in Phase 5 was shifted to near Kalyan Jewellers in the same phase, while the one near Amb Sahib Gurdwara, Phase 8, was shifted to the traffic lights near PUDA Bhavan in Phase 8.
Councillor Kuljeet Singh Bedi, who had raised the issue in the MC House, said several violations in the project had come to light. “The agency had quoted that `9 lakh will be spent on each bus queue shelter, but during the probe, it was found that only `4 lakh was spent,” added Bedi.
The company was allotted the work to construct 42 bus queue shelters in SAS Nagar on buildoperate-transfer (BOT) basis in December 2014 for seven years. However, the company has managed to set up 32 shelters to date.
Deputy mayor Rishab Jain, councillors Phoolraj Singh and Amrik Singh Somal and MC officials were present at the meeting.