Today on 26.07.2016 JMC started intensive drive for removing 47 un-authorized hoardings installed by M/s. Super Publicity Pvt. Ltd. in Ward No. 1 to 48 under overall directions of Ms. Mandeep Kaur, IAS, Commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation who possesses advertising rights only for Ward Nos. 49 to 71.
FACTS OF THE CASE
1. M/s. Brite Neon Sign (P) Ltd. who has been awarded sole rights for advertisement in Ward Nos. 1 to 48 by Jammu Municipal Corporation represented before this office and they have reflected their inability to install hoardings at the locations allotted to them due to encroachment of said locations by M/s. Super Publicity Pv t. Ltd.
When called the representatives of M/s. Super Publicity in the office of Commissioner, JMC for ascertaining the facts they stated that few of the sites allotted to them have come under road widening need to be replaced by new sites. After going through the representations of M/s. Brite Neon (P) Ltd., the Commissioner, JMC called a meeting on 23.07.2016 to verify the factual position from the record. After hearing M/s. Brite Neon (P) Ltd. a preliminary survey of these areas was conducted and photography of the sites was also done. It was found during survey that sites allotted to M/s. Brite Neon (P) Ltd. are being used by some unknown persons and observations of M/s. Brite Neon (P) Ltd. were found correct.
2. The original file has been found missing from the office, the authenticated list of sites allotted to Super publicity are not available in the office. From the re-generated file these facts have come to the notice of JMC Commissioner
3. Ward no.49-71 were allotted to Super publicity in 2012 for 4 years for 20000sft area of advertisement sites. As original file has been found missing from our office, the authenticated list of such sites is not available in our office. The advertiser says that the list provided by them is authentic but that has no basis or source. He said that its part of tender document, but copy of tender document has also not been provided by them.
4. Even if we rely on the list provided by them, it gives 27 sites in ward no.49-71 only, which they were entitled to use.
5. They represented that few of the sites have come under road widening and hence need to be replaced by new sites. Vide order dated 17.8.13, these 4 sites were cancelled and 9 new sites were given to them. This order has also been provided by them, but as duly signed by the officer of JMC, and hence can be relied upon.
6. No other document has been provided by them which gives them right to any more site or advertisement area.
7. They have duly paid 3 years of license fees. But demand notice of this year has been stayed by High Court order dated 11.4.16 on the ground that they have not been able to utilize about 16000sft area our of 20000 sft area due to various reasons. This is absolutely baseless, as on ground inspection shows that in addition to their own wards where they have utilized most of the space, in ward no.1-48 also they have utilized ILLEGALLY about 18000sft area on regular basis. A survey report is also enclosed and part of this file.
8. Ward no.1-48 has recently been allotted to Brite Neon P Ltd. On their report, only this systematic racket which was running in JMC for the past many years could be busted, where super publicity was conveniently utilizing all advertisement space of JMC without any payment, in collusion with JMC officials.
9. Tender for ward no.1-48 was being failed in an organised manner for the past 2 years and despite issuing tenders for 8 times, no bidder used to participate due to “high rates”. Actual reason was, the entire space was being used by Super publicity leaving few sites with JMC which used to be allotted at the rate of Rs.6/sft/day which was so meager that no one wanted this tender to succeed.
10. Ward no.1-48 is the old city which has all prime locations and making these wards available for advertisement at dirt cheap rates was a win win situation for everyone, except for the state exchequer.
11. JMC is going to hold thorough enquiry and fix responsibility in this case of the officials involved.
12. Yesterday’s operation was conducted in ward no.1-48 when 47 illegal sites of super publicity have been removed. Their claim that these sites were allotted to them have no basis, as no document provided by them could prove it. They have used the space even at those locations, which were cancelled at their request of unavailability and in lieu of which alternate space has been provided to them in ward no.1-48. We have not touched those 9 locations. Rest 47 locations illegally occupied by them have been cleared, after giving them opportunity of being heard and after examining the documents provided by them.
Following facts need to be analysed by the enquiry committee:
1. List of approved sites is not even part of documents submitted by the super publicity. This needs to be taken from the party.
2. If that the approved list, why are they crying for the demolition of sites at other locations, which have been removed yesterday and under which authority they utilized that space.
3. If they agree that they have utilized that space, why are they not paying license fees for the same and have taken JMC to the court.
4. they are claiming that few of the sites were unavailable. But that part of the game. In this business, you will not get to use all the sites at all the times. The responsibility of getting advertisement to them is not JMC’s responsibility. But on that ground that some of their space could not be utilized (which is also wrong as they have utilized almost triple space, as per photography done by JMC day before, which shows that they have used the unapproved locations), they cant claim more space or extension or refuse to pay license fees.