Despite directions issued by the UT finance secretary, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has failed to get the audit done of advertisement disputes that were settled between 2013 and 2015.
The audit was ordered in September 2015 by finance secretary Sarvjit Singh after discrepancies came to fore regarding settlements of disputes carried under the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order (CACO), 1954.
While settling the disputes, officials in some cases had reduced the size of the banners and duration for which they were put up, while calculating the fine. These irregularities were pointed out in a report prepared by the corporation.
Taking serious note of the wrong doings, Sarvjit had asked the civic body to get the audit of all the advertisement disputes settled at the earliest.
According to sources, to benefit some of the violators, municipal employees had reduced the size of banners and duration for which they were put up, thus causing revenue loss to the corporation.
MC joint commissioner Varinder Chaudhary accepted that they have failed to get the audit done. However, he assured that the process of audit will start shortly.
To put a check on the rampant menace of defacement across the city, especially by student organisations during the Panjab University elections, the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2013 had directed the municipal corporation to take corrective measures.
Acting on the directions, the civic body framed a policy under which for pasting banners, violators are penalised at
the rate of Rs 100 per square feet per day; while for displaying unauthorised signboard, a violator has to shell out a fine of Rs 400 per day and Rs 72,000 for six months.
Any banner or signboard displayed without permission is presumed to be put up for the past six months and the violator will be penalised for six months.
According to the norms, there should not be any defacing of public property while no posters or banners or advertisements can be hung on the pillars or walls of any private SCO’s or building. Banner or advertisement can be erected only on designated places after getting permission from the municipal corporation.