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    Published On : Thu, Mar 13th, 2014

    NIT files reply in HC with respect to PIL, bares nasty dealings of Sell Ads at Futala Lake area

    The NIT has accepted that the Sell Ads has committed the breach of the terms and conditions of the agreement and also erected the boards and hoardings illegally. The NIT submitted that a  notice as to why the agreement dated 17.2.2010 itself should not be terminated has been issued to Sell Ads and the matter is under consideration. The PIL was filed by President of “Bhrashtachar Virodhi Janman” (People against Corruption) Sanjay Agrawal against the illegal construction of additional Food Kiosks and erection of hoardings at Futala Lake areas. 

    futala-lake-nagpur

    Nagpur News: The Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) has finally broken its silence in thousands of words legally and authoritatively and subsequently exposed the nasty dealings by Sell Ads at Futala Chowpaty. The NIT has filed its reply in the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court with respect to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) defining the illegal acts of Sell Ads and requesting the Court to order NIT and NMC to crack the whip against the uncanny dealings of Sell Ads.

    The PIL was filed by President of “Bhrashtachar Virodhi Janman” (People against Corruption) Sanjay Agrawal against the illegal construction of additional Food Kiosks and erection of hoardings at Futala Lake areas.

    The NIT in its reply accepted that an agreement with Sell Ads was negotiated by the NIT on 17.2.2010 for beautification of Futala Lake areas and erection of 20 mobile food kiosks for a period of 5 years. However, the petitioner Agrawal said in his petition that the Sell Ads brazenly violated the clause for 20 food kiosks and even the space reserved for parking area was also utilized for construction of additional food kiosks. The petition said that Sell Ads has breached the terms and conditions by not only bringing up excess food kiosks but also erection of illegal boards and hoardings without permission of NMC, installation of games without safety measures for children and contributing to unhygienic conditions at the lake side.

    The NIT had subsequently sent notices to Sell Ads on 1.3.2013 and 22.3.2013 and directed the firm to all illegal constructions and the hoardings, boards within 7 days. However, till today, the contractor (Sell Ads) has not removed a single illegal structure from the Futala Lake site. The NIT officials visited the place for inspection and found the status of illegal constructions as it is clearly showing the Sell Ads had not followed the directives of NIT. The Executive Engineer of NIT (West) again sent a notice to Sell Ads on 30.5.2013 directing the contractor to remove the illegal structures immediately or a strict action will be taken for non-compliance of directives.

    The NIT again put the Sell Ads on notice on 10.6.2013 for Breach of Contract. The notice said the firm has erected more than 20 food kiosks and that too in the areas where no permission was given by the NIT. The notice also raised issue of non-payment of Service Tax and interest accrued upon it even after issuance of Demand Note to Sell Ads. The NIT had warned that if the contractor failed to comply with the directives and objections of NIT within a month, the Contract signed on 17.2.2010 could be cancelled.

    The Sell Ads replied to the notices of NIT on 11.7.2013 and a hearing before the Chairman of NIT was held on 21.1.2014. Thereafter a 5-member committee was formed and it was asked to submit report before March 5, 2014. The Committee consisted of General Manager of NIT as its Chairman and Assistant Director of Town Planning, NIT’s Executive Officer (West), Executive Engineer (West), Divisional Officer (West) as members.

    Following are excerpts of NIT’s reply to High Court with respect of PIL:

    1) That, the petitioner has approached the Honourable Court by virtue of the present Public Interest Litigation and is invoking extraordinary writ jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. That, the petitioner, by virtue of the present Public Interest Litigation, is claiming a writ order or direction against the answering respondents (NIT, Divisional Officer (West) of NIT, Executive Engineer (West) of NIT, Superintendent Engineer, NIT, M/s Sell Ads, NMC) to demolish all illegal and excess food kiosks and unauthorized constructions made on the eastern corner of the road adjacent to Futala Lake (i.e. road that runs from Amravati Road towards Hanuman Mandir) a part of the area. The petitioner is further seeking a direction to demolish all illegal boards and hoardings on northern side of the footpath as per notices dated 1.3.2013 and 22.3.2013 issued by the answering respondents. Along with relief, the petitioner has claimed other reliefs in the present Public Interest Litigation.

    2) It is matter of record that the Nagpur Improvement Trust has entered into an agreement with the respondent No. 5 (Sell Ads) on 17.2.2010. It is a matter of fact that the respondent No. 5 has committed the breach of the terms and conditions of the agreement and also erected the boards and hoardings on the northern side of the footpath without obtaining the necessary permission from the Competent Authority i.e. Nagpur Municipal Corporation. It is made clear that the respondent No. 5 was to comply strictly the terms and conditions of the agreement executed on 17.2.2010 with the answering respondent.

    3) It is submitted that a notice as to why the agreement dated 17.2.2010 itself should not be terminated has been issued and the matter is under consideration, no sooner the orders are passed after evaluating the report of the committee, the action as per the agreement dated 17.2.2010 will be initiated against the respondent No. 5 (Sell Ads). Thus, in these circumstances, the Nagpur Improvement Trust is taking all necessary steps by following the principles of natural justice to take action as per the agreement dated 17.2.2010 for committing the breach of terms and conditions of the agreement dated 17.2.2010.

    However, the Sell Ads, in its replies to notices of NIT, has maintained that the number of food kiosks as only 20 in accordance with the agreement of 17.2.2010. It has also clarified its position as far as hoardings are concerned. The Sell Ads has claimed the hoardings as legal. About other plans of beautification and maintenance of various works like cleaning of the lake, parking area on day to day basis, maintenance of electric lights, fittings, fountains, and other works are being done phase-wise in accordance with the agreement dated 17.2.2010.


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