The dark side of the coloruful and attractive hoardings has come under the High Court hammers.
Nagpur News: The already “financially sinking” Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is being pushed lower and lower in its coffers by itself . The NMC has been facing a massive crunch of funds vis-à-vis LBT, various unpaid taxes in the proportions of crores and crores due to nexus between its babus and big shots in various fields, shoddy deals and total inaction thus resulting in sickening recovery of crucial taxes.
And, now, the illegal hoardings put up at every major square of Nagpur, are denting NMC’s revenue by Rs 40,000,00. The NMC gives permissions for putting up advertisement hoardings at several places. The NMC has granted permissions to many private ad agencies or other agencies apart from various institutes and also individuals. The permission has to be sought on zone-level. NMC levies specific charges for various hoardings and earns a considerable amount from the hoardings. In the last year, NMC reaped Rs 60,10,00,000 and this year too the NMC has targeted to earn Rs 10 core. However, an additional income of Rs 30-40 lakh ie being robbed by illegal hoardings.
However, not all hoardings are “beautiful and attractive” to beautify the Orange City. In fact, the hoardings have given an ugly facelift. Moreover, despite dozens of petitions filed before the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court, and, despite dozens of directives by the High Court, things are as it is. The NMC only takes a token action to “show” implementation of High Court orders. But the “show” on the part of NMC is “showing” an increase in the network of illegal hoardings across the city.
The NMC has not displayed a concrete strategy to pull down illegal hoardings and pull up the revenue. However, in a fresh development, the colourful and very attractive hoardings at almost every major square have come under the hammers of High Court. A dark side of the illegal hoardings has come in open. Several of such hoardings belong to bigwigs of every political party. And this “dark” factor puts hurdles for NMC in order to go ahead and smash the hoardings.
Now, the High Court has ordered NMC Commissioner Shyam Wardhane to furnish the numbers of illegal hoardings erected by various key political leaders to the Court. The High Court has sought a report of all details of the hoardings, too. The NMC has been directed by the High Court to also provide the number of printers of these hoardings. The NMC has been asked by the Court to come before it with all details on July 8 (Monday).
According to sources, the NMC has prepared a list of 52 printers and also has carved out a strategy for submission of the same to the High Court.
It may be recalled, the High Court order followed after a contempt petition was filed by Raspalsingh Renu informing that despite specific directives by the High Court over mushrooming of illegal hoardings, the Administration deliberately neglected the High Court orders thus resorting to contempt of the Court. The contempt petition was filed before Justice A P Nirgude. The petitioner said the High Court had strictly directed Government to strictly curb erection of illegal hoardings across Maharashtra. However, the Government failed to implement the directives. This is contempt of the High Court, Renu said.