Vigilance probe nails wrongdoing in Patiala MC’s outdoor media contract
Patiala A probe into the disputed allotment of prime unipoles in the city has revealed that the contract awarded to the outdoor media firm for 16 unipoles in the city led to huge financial loss to the municipal corporation (MC).Updated: Feb 20, 2017 16:09 IST
A probe into the disputed allotment of prime unipoles in the city has revealed that the contract awarded to the outdoor media firm for 16 unipoles in the city led to huge financial loss to the municipal corporation (MC).
As per the report, the rates fixed by the MC’s decision-making body while awarding the contract to the Noida- based media firm in July 2015 were not implemented by officials as the firm continued to pay far lesser rates as per provisions of the old contract.
“We have recommended stern action against the officials involved in this matter since it involved huge financial loss to the state exchequer,” said chief vigilance officer of the local bodies department AK Kansal, who probed the matter.
Kansal said that the report was submitted to the department a week ago for action. Special secretary to the department Vinod Bhalla, who currently holds the charge of director, local government, said that the matter was under consideration.
What is the matter?
The issue pertains to renting out of the city’s advertisement unipoles.
In 2009, the Arc Media was allotted contract for 16 unipoles at a monthly rent of Rs 2,167 per month till 2015. It was also given responsibility to maintain the city’s traffic light points too.
After the expiry of the contract, the MC’s finance and contract committee meeting, chaired by mayor Amarinder Singh Bajaj, renewed the firm’s contract for another seven years for Rs 17,500 per unipole.
The reason behind the hike in the monthly rent was the MC’s new outdoor media policy that fixed the minimum reserved rate of Rs 15,300 for each unipole location and the firm was renewed contract at 15% premium over the reserved rates.
Since then, the firm’s contract has been in dispute. First, it defaulted on the Rs 10 lakh payment in February last year, for which the inquiry is still pending and then it never made payment as per the revised contract agreement in violation of municipal laws. Till date, his contract has not been revoked by MC.
Mayor Amarinder Singh Bajaj said that he has already written to the MC commissioner for revoking the contract.
First Published: Feb 20, 2017 16:07 IST