Contract for Hoardings and Pole Kiosks granted at throw away prices

golden yug
[ July 14, 2017 ] Jammu city couldn’t elevate in cleanliness index owing to such out of way deals Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) has a responsibility and duty to keep Jammu city neat and clean. For the purpose of meeting the expenses to manage it, JMC is having the authority to use the area under its jurisdiction fo the display of different kinds of advertisements to generate revenue to meet the expenses so incurred for keeping the city clean. However JMC generating the revenue on the pattern designed but results on ground are negligible primarily due to improper utilization of funds so generated for public welfare. This is evident from the contracts given to choice candidates and not only this avoiding norms set to provide undue favour to contractor and to secure huge profit for themselves. There are several instances in public domain where several questions have been raised on the working of JMC as whatever it does in the name of self claimed public welfare where public exchequer misused and thrown to dustbin after securing personal motives. JMC invited e-tenders vide NIT No. 3 dated 18-01-2016 for an area of 23650 Sqft for display of hoardings, 6880 Sqft for pole kiosks area on electric poles and all types of advertisements on public property with in Jammu Municipal Corporation limits i.e from Ward 1 to 71 under advertisement Policy framed by the govt on 30-10-2010 framed especially the types of advertisements mentioned above. Following which surprisingly only one tender was received by JMC from the M/s Brite Neon Signs Pvt Ltd at C-9/117, Sec-8 Rohini Delhi for Wards from 1 to Ward 48 and as per the sources no tender was received for Ward 49 to Ward 71 . JMC meanwhile referred the lone tender received to Commissioner Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department J&K to further proceed on this after it received only one tender. Accordingly under Secretary to Govt permitted the JMC to allow the contract to the company which has submitted the tender signally vide No. HUD/LSG/ JMC/40/2015 Dated 20-03-2016. After go ahead by Under Secretary, the tender was sanctioned in favour of M/s Brite Neon Signs Pvt Ltd at C-9/117, Sec-8 Rohini Delhi and the contract was signed on 6-4-2016 for four years. However the advertisements are being displayed in these wards but general public is unaware of the revenue so generated from advertisements from 49 to 71 going where if JMC has not floated any tender. At the first place it is hard to digest that only single tender was received by JMC and more surprisingly the single tender received as claimed by JMC was sanctioned in favour of company. Whereas as per the norms and in order to ensure handsome revenue the tenders should have been reinvented but by not doing so it resulted in huge loss as had the JMC received more tenders there would have been tendering on compatible rates and also qualitative completion. On the other hand it raises serious doubt on part of JMC and the under secretary to govt to oblige single tender so received by causing serious loss to Govt exchequer. If sources are to be believed it seems a fixed match between the companies receiving the tender and the authorities concerned for the mutual benefits of both at the serious cost of huge loss to JMC and Housing and Urban Development Department. As per the agreement signed between JMC and the Company on 6-4-2016, the company was supposed to pay an amount of Rs 23860009 for the first year which was however to be paid quarterly which becomes Rs 5965002. The agreement further agreed that there will be 10% increase in amount with every passing year for four years and accordingly the company was duty bound to pay an amount of Rs 26246010 including 10% hike as agreed in contract. Likewise Rs 28870611 and Rs 31757672 were to be paid by the company for third and fourth year respectively. The company was mandated to pay the amount on quarterly basis during the year. With this the condition of rates was also attached with the agreement which say that the company shall not exceed in any case upper ceiling of Rs 300/Sqft/ Month while charging for display of hoardings and Rs 250/Sft/month in case of pole Kiosks from his clients. However as per the deal, ten numbers of free hoardings having size measuring 20’x10’ each will remain with JMC for displaying social and other messages free of cost. For the display of hoardings, the company was provided 31 prominent locations including Gandhi Nagar, Vikram Chowk Polytechnic, Bhagwati Nagar Bridge, Jammu Tawi Bridge, Panama Chowk, Bahu Plaza, Satwari to Digiana making total 90 hoardings. Similarly for advertisements on pole, 23 locations were granted where there were 413 poles including Pole kiosks, electric poles. However the size which was to be maintained by company while displaying advertisements was far behind the agreement and there was no check on part of JMC as it was getting benefitted with every violation in agreed deal between JMC and Company as the size maximum for hoarding was 40’x20’ and minimum 20’x10’. The size according to Advt Policy 2010 of JMC was 12’X12’ and 8’X12’ and the length of advertisement shall not exceed 50 feet. The contract was only for wards 1 to 48 but the advertisements are spread all along in every nook and corner of city including all the wards from 1 to 71 without any check by JMC as the number is very high than the permitted by JMC. When asked JMC officials about the action against illegal hoardings in the city, it replied that notices have been issued to violators but the ground reality is that none of the violator has removed any of illegal advertisement. Whereas JMC deliberately did not serve any notice to company for violating the conditions agreed upon in agreement while assigning contract to company.JMC has admitted that huge size hoardings numbering 76 being displayed in city and there is no count of illegal small hoardings. However JMC after failure to curb the menace of illegal hoardings in the city in garb of issuing notices to save their skin has done another allotment amidst great public cry that there is serious shortage of manpower for cleanliness duty such a blunder is suicidal for general public which is fighting tooth and nail heaps of garbage scattered all along the city due to callousness of JMC. JMC in another blunder outsourcing of pole Kiosks on the flyovers Jammu which seems mere eye wash as there was already contract existing between the company and JMC and outsourcing pole kiosks vide consent letter No. BNS/JMC/2016-17 Dated 24th January 2017 yet again after nine months was not only surprising but also suspicious as the contract was again given to same company already carrying out advt works. Providing space for 67 pole Kiosks on both sides with size 30” x 40” x 2 (8.32Sft) from Brig. Rajinder Singh Chowk to Statue of Maharaja Hari Singh Tawi Bridge and 77 Pole Kiosks from Brig. Rajinder Singh Chowk to Maheshpura Chowk with same size. According to this new venture the company was mandated to pay Rs 2337825 in first year of four year contract and with 10% hike with following years for four years at Rs 2571608 for 2nd year, Rs 2828768 and Rs 613804 for 3rd and 4th year respectively up to 5-4-2020. If it was a part of already existing contract, then why this new one and if new one was taken why no tender was floated which is beyond the common thinking of common man but well known plan in the minds of JMC to secure maximum benefit for themselves at the serious loss to JMC exchequer. In the light of above facts where everything is shrouded in mist of self beneficial modes of decision, in the public interest, the Govt must order for free and fair vigilance enquiry to ascertain the motive behind such dealings causing huge loss of revenue to JMC which could have been utilized in improving and developing Jammu city cleanliness index which is at worst level in comparison to other states of country.