BBMP lost Rs 157.4 cr to goof-up by ad dept, corporators allege

The functioning of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s advertisement department was severely criticised by corporators at the civic agency’s council meeting on Monday, with Yediyur corporator N R Ramesh alleging that the Palike lost Rs 157.40 crore on account of negligence of four officials from the department.

Flashing certain documents, he said: “In 2007, the Palike floated tenders for installation of seven LED boards and renting to private companies. Adlab Films Limited was roped in.However, the latter got into a disagreement with the Palike when it changed the location of the LED boards. The company had already paid Rs 25.02 crore as Ernest Money Deposit and demanded refund. When denied, it moved the High Court.”

According to Ramesh, despite knowing that the company’s case was yet to be adjudicated, four officers from the advertisement department – Manjunatha Swamy, Lakshmi, Kumar and Madhaiah – released the money to it three months ago.

“This is an offence and the officers should be suspended,” he said and added that VSR Advertising Agency, the second bidder for the same project, owed Rs 120.0 crore to the Palike till date.

Palike Commissioner M Lakshminarayana maintained that he would issue a show-cause notice to the four officers for releasing the money without informing the higher-ups that the case was pending in the court.

Nagapura corporator S Harish said that advertising agencies continued to display illegal ads in the City.

“The High Court in October 2013 had ordered the Palike to clamp down on illegal hoardings, banners and flex boards. But the Palike officers have turned a blind eye to it.” He demanded that officers from the advertising department be replaced.

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