BBMP and rlys agree to hide a disagreement

Tussle over payment of rentals for hoardings and bill boards

According to the BBMP sources, the Supreme Court had ruled two years ago that the Railways will have to adhere to the advertisement policies of the local bodies regarding the safety measures and sharing its revenue with the municipal corporations. The Railways are not adhering with the order, a BBMP officer says, requesting anonymity.

“We do not know how many bill boards are there in the Railway land. We have been requesting the Railways for a joint survey, but have been turned down every time,” said the officer.

Other sources told Deccan Herald that there are around 280 hoardings overlooking the City roads. The BBMP is losing nearly Rs one crore a year, the sources added. In addition, safety precautions have been thrown to the wind, they said.

The tussle between the Railways and the BBMP is continuing for the last one year. The previous BBMP Commissioner, Dr S Subramanya had written to the Railways several times in this regard but to no avail. Details available with Deccan Herald show that Subramanya had written a letter wide JC(Advt)/PR/22/08-09 dated 11/12/2008 to Mathew John, Member Secretary, Railway Board. A reminder was sent again on February 28 this year. A letter was then sent to the DRM of South Western Railway Akhil Agrawal on May 21, 2009 and a copy was marked to S Anwar Hussain, the senior divisional commercial manager, Bangalore. Another letter [Letter No AC(Advt) PR/265/2007-08] was despatched on April 17, 2009 to the DRM, the sources added.

Palike is reluctant to make the dispute public because various ongoing and proposed infrastructure projects pending with Railways for clearance. They include fly-overs, under-passes at various locations.

“There could be issues between Railways and BBMP but there is nothing like dispute. We will solve the differences amicably. We are in constant touch with BBMP Commissioner Bharat Lal Meena,” said the South Western Railway DRM Akhil Agrawal. Meena too was conciliatory, denying any dispute with the Railways.

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