February 4, 2009 2:58:02 am
The economic meltdown has taken its toll on the hoardings of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. The contract signed between the AMC and Big Street,an outdoor advertising company of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) has been dissolved following an issue between the two parties.
On his part,Municipal Commissioner I P Gautam denied that AMC had terminated the contract. He said: We have not terminated the contract. They withdrew it themselves.
Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Finance) U C Padia said: AMC has not terminated any contract with the company. Fifteen days ago,ADAG officials informed us about the withdrawal of the contract. Due to the economic crunch,they have rescinded the contract.
Big Street allegedly failed to pay the licence fee to the AMC,due to which the hoardings on Ashram Road were removed by the corporation. In April 2008,Big Street had grabbed the bid for the Rs 5.04 crore contract with the AMC to set up hoardings and digital clocks.
Padia added: The company was reportedly demanding a discount of 30 per cent and extension of the contract for two years as it was not able to cope up with the financial challenges. He said: But,the company had already signed the tender and we cannot give discounts in the middle of the contract when they have already committed to pay the full amount.
According to the contract,Big Street was to put up 35 hoardings on Ashram Road. The company had reportedly paid 25 per cent as licence fee and 25 per cent of the contract amount. The remaining amount was due to be paid to the AMC. Failing to meet the deadline of January 14,the AMC officials had issued notices to Big Street.
Arun Pinto,Regional vice- president,south and west,ADAG,was unavailable for comment. The officials of the company in Ahmedabad declined to comment on the issue.
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