By Arfat Khan
Jammu: The contract for display of hoardings has virtually turned into a scandal worth crores in Jammu Municipal Corporation.
Reliable sources in JMC revealed that in alleged connivance with officers of JMC, the contractor namely Shailender Luthra is displaying hoardings at his whims and fantasies in breach of agreement of contract.
The latest reference of this breach is installation of new hoarding in Jewel area rotary.
Sources revealed ” Hoardings contract is a huge scam lying in the cup board of JMC. The annual earnings from illegal hoardings ranges from 1.25 crore to 1.50 crore, added sources.
To hide this open loot on the name of hoardings, a lobby in JMC has meticulously created hoo- hallah of illegal constructions to divert attention of higher authorities as well as activists and media from this lucrative assignment, disclosed sources.Â
“For display of hoardings in new wards (49 to 75) intentionally tender was floated with less lucrative sites and having high rates indeed to discourage new playersÂ from entering into the display of hoardings in JMC limit, revealed sources.
It would not be out of place to mentioned here that for some special reasons Commissioner JMC, Pankaj Magotra has assigned the charge of hoardings to JMC secretary Sunaina Mehta after divest it from Assistant Revenue Officer.
“Owner of M/s Brite Neon namely Shailender Luthra indulged in unauthorised installation of hoardings indeed with the active cooperation of JMC officers, said sources.
In agreement of contract, there is clearly mention of number of hoardings along with sites besides the number of poles with location meant for kiosks display of advertisements within wards 1 to 45 of JMC.
However, there are repeated fiddling made with the agreement of contract merely to please Shailendra Luthra who has turned JMC into his fiefdom, alleged sources.
In entire Gandhi Nagar lanes and sub lanes, M/s Brite Neon has displayed advertisement kiosks numbering 224 on electricity poles in blatant violation of contract.
When JKGN pointed out this glaring violation, the Secretary JMC Sunaina Mehta assured to act on it stating that there is no such permission for display of kiosks in lanes and sub lanes in this area. However, later prefer to sit silent.
It’s worth to mentioned here that Sunaina Mehta is the lone KAS officer with longest serving span in JMC.