budgat-4If you are a tax paying dutiful resident of Navi Mumbai you should know just how the corporator-contractors-officials nexus is looting NMMC of revenue for unadulterated vested interests. You can call it one of the biggest scams of NMMC that is kept under cover in every budget but will be exposed tonight on NMTV weekend exclusive. All you have to do to understand the magnitude of how big this scam is – you just have to turn to page 26 of the proposed NMMC Budget 2008 – 2009. On this page you can see that NMMC administration shows total revenue of Rs. 2.05 Crores from advertisements by way of hoardings, banners, posters, streetlights, bus stops and NMMT buses. It is not very difficult to calculate the magnitude of this scam. According to NMMC statistics – there are 35, 000 streetlights in the city. When we approached an advertising agency in Navi Mumbai, we were told that the charges per street light per day is Rs. 100. And if NMMC charges just Rs. 10 per streetlight then for the 35, 000 street lights in the city, it should get yearly revenue of over Rs. 12 Crores only from street lights. But in the budget, the administration says that it will get only Rs. 2 Crores from hoardings, banners, posters, streetlights, bus stops and NMMT buses. Corporator Vithal More says that the magnitude of the scam can be understood from some basic maths on the number of street lights itself. Further take a look at some of the rates of the hoardings in the city. * Hoarding At Big Splash Building costs Rs. 2, 55,000 per month. * Hoarding At Big Splash Building costs Rs 75, 000 per month * Hoarding At Vashi Gaon costs Rs 1,45,000.00 ( Rs One Lakh Forty Five Thousand Only) And if on calculates the revenue from lakhs of banners and posters that dot every street, the number of hoardings – big and small in very node, mobile hoardings, the number of bus shelters and NMMT buses – NMMC loses a minimum Rs. 100 Crores every year. Senior journalists Vikas Mahadik do not hesitate to criticize and hold the NMMC administration responsible for these vested interests that is looting NMMC treasury of 100 of Crores of every year. At NMMC, the officers in charge refused to speak to us or divulge details on the report. On the other hand when we met NMMC Commissioner Vijay Nahata on this loot, he said that unless the corporators approved his new hoarding policy, he cannot do anything on the subject. Senior journalist Vishwarath Nayar begs to differ. There is no doubt that the advertising policy scam is costing NMMC a loss of 100s of Crores but till date no commissioner or corporators have had the courage to speak against this blatant public loot. The city is blessed to have a Guardian Minister like Ganesh Naik who has promised no increase in taxes for 20 years but if all the visionary projects he has planned for the city have to be executed, income from advertisement can be one of the major sources for revenue generation for NMMC but will corruption again win over public interest in this budget, is a wait and watch. With Rajeev Mishra, Zeba Warsia for NMTV News.

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