Municipal commissioner Ramaswamy N alleged that there has been a cartel in the advertising contract of the civic body in the past 10 years.
On Wednesday, the NMMC standing committee corporators stayed the hoarding tender resolution of the administration that the commissioner wanted passed. The corporators claimed that they need time to study it.
The tender will lead to multiple increase in revenue for the civic body which the civic commissioner said had been shortchanged over the years.
The proposal was to approve the contractor for hoarding sites at various important locations in the city. The two contractors recommended for approval for quoting the highest bids were not among those who have bagged the advertising contracts earlier.
Deputy municipal commissioner Trupti Sandbhor said, “Several civic bodies have submitted their hoarding policies to the state government. The state government has formed a panel to study them. We three deputy municipal commissioners were on the panel. The study is in the final stage now.”
She said that they have finalised 205 spots for hoardings and called for tenders. “The town planning department has finalised the lease rent of the place as per the ready reckoner rates. Besides, we will also be charging them licence fees. Earlier we were earning Rs48,000 annually, now we will earn Rs 3.5 lakh.”
Shiv Sena corporator Namdeo Bhagat demanded an inquiry into this. He asked, “Why was the same rate charged for the past 10 years? Charges have been sought by the contractor for even displaying civic hoardings for inauguration of civic works.”
He claimed, “Illegal advertising has been resorted to by classes. Advertisements of some companies can be seen on the walls close to the clinics of doctors and that of hospitals. They should be fined.”
Standing Committee chairperson Shubhangi Patil ordered the resolutions to be stayed.
Ramaswamy N said, “The contractor has been taking away 90% of the revenue. It collected Rs2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh in advertisement revenue but gave us peanuts. It is not right.”