'Govt ads on bus shelters cost BBMP Rs 68.14 crore'

BJP leader N R Ramesh on Tuesday accused the government of causing a loss of Rs 68.14 crore to BBMP by displaying its advertiseme­n­ts on 439 bus shelters without paying any fee for it.

At a press conference, Ramesh said the government used 439 bus shelters of BBMP to advertise its various schemes with images of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. “The norm is that the state government or central government have to pay the Palike for using its facilities to advertise their schemes. None of the Palike officers ever dared to ask the government to pay. This is a scam,” claimed Ramesh.

He said the advertisements were put up for two consecutive years 2015-16 and 2016-17. The annual loss was Rs 34.07 crore. Ramesh said he had lodged a complaint with the Lokayukta and is also mulling over taking legal recourse. When contacted,  assistant commissioner of BBMP C Nagaraju said the information department of the government had approached the public relations division of BBMP to advertise government schemes on bus shelters.

He said the government can choose not to pay for the advertisements because it gives funds to the Palike. “It is a mutual understanding between two government agencies, which is permitted,” Nagaraju said.

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