The civic standing committee on Monday unanimously decided to go ahead and favour the hoarding contractors even as the state government is yet to announce the hoarding policy. The civic panel decided to make major changes without waiting for the state government approval on the issue.
The standing committee on Monday reduced the rates to Rs 41.30 per sq ft while the original policy approved in the General Body had fixed the rates through tenders at Rs 222 per sq ft.
The original policy had recommended five times fine on all illegal hoardings. However,the panel decided that the hoardings installed without permission should be fined and those that have breached the time frame should be let off.
The standing committee resolved to form a committee that will be led by Leader of the House Subhas Jagtap and comprise an auditor,additional commissioner,sky sign department chief and two members of outdoor advertising association. The members will look into pending dues from the hoarding contractors and settle the legal matter,states the resolution while the the original policy had assigned this task to audit sub-committee.
While NCP corporator and standing committee chairman Baburao Chandere was defending the policy,he did a volte face and said the changes will not benefit the civic body. He,however,expressed that without NCP having no majority of its own,they are depending on other members. He said the panel decided to go ahead with the changes as the state government is sitting on the policy since 2010.
However,Jagtap said that since NCP does not have a clear mandate,the municipal commissioner should not implement it as is illegal. All other party members have expressed their concern over the decision and want to have another meeting to reconsider the policy.
Interestingly,it was former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar who was keen to push the hoarding policy stating that the policy would benefit PMC. However,the NCP leaders in the panel seem to have defied their leaders stand on the policy.