Differing views within NDMC delay CP clean-up

Lekhi, others raise objections on ad revenue clauses

The NDMC’s plan to improve cleanliness in Connaught Place has been put on hold after there was a delay in handing over the contract to a private firm.

Deccan Herald had earlier reported the council was planning to outsource the cleanliness and maintenance of Connaught Place to JCDecaux, a French firm, on the basis of revenue sharing.

However, though the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) had approved the contract, there has been delay in awarding it after some members raised objections about the terms and conditions of the project.

According to a source in the council, several members including New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi, raised objection to the 15-year-long contract being handed over to the private firm. Also, it was stated that the firm would earn revenue from the paid and non-paid advertisements that it will be allowed to put up on street furniture and toilets.

For a paid advertisement, the company was likely to be permitted to utilise 700  sq metre of space. Members reportedly have raised objection on this issue as well in a meeting held on September 19.

However, according to a senior official in the council, the contract was approved only after discussing the terms and conditions with all members. Due queries raised by members were answered in the council meeting, said the senior official. However, though differences have emerged on the issue, no member has sent a dissent note on this issue yet.

The contract was to be  finalised on a meeting on October 21. However, Lekhi refused to sign the final minute of the decision to hand over the contract and therefore the contract could not be finalised, said a source at the council.

“I had signed the minutes except one decision as council members showed their disapproval about the terms and legality (of the contract),” said Lekhi.

If the project is approved, cleanliness in Connaught Place is likely to go up. Vacuum cleaners, automatic floor scrubbers and water jet machines are set to replace the existing manual workers and achieve cleanliness on par with malls.

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