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Private company making huge profit from Hebbal flyover hoardings: Govt

Last Updated : 08 December 2020, 21:11 IST
Last Updated : 08 December 2020, 21:11 IST

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Law Minister J C Madhuswamy admitted on the floor of the legislative assembly on Tuesday that a private company might be profiteering from a contract it holds to put up hoardings on the Hebbal flyover.

In a written reply, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who holds the Bengaluru city development portfolio, said Avinashi Ads was given the contract for a 30-year period in exchange for an annual ground rent to be paid to the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). The work order was given in May 2018.

The company, which has been permitted to put up 147 hoardings on an area spanning 61,780 square feet, has spent Rs 98.98 lakh to beautify 1.98 lakh square feet around the flyover, according to the reply. The contract requires the company to pay the government Rs 1.1 crore with a 5% increase every year as ground rent.

“The company has spent just Rs 98 lakh, but they’ve been given 147 hoardings. The hoardings will easily generate Rs 2.5 crore a month. But the company is paying the government just Rs 1.1 crore a year. Isn’t this a loot,” former minister Krishna Byre Gowda asked.

Madhuswamy, on behalf of Yediyurappa who was not present, said the company was selected through tendering. “Yes, we agree that the company makes a lot of profit,” he said.

The minister also pointed out that the company had obtained an interim order from the high court barring any interference in the contract. Gowda grew suspicious: “If the contractor went to court, maybe it was to preempt legislative scrutiny.”

BDA chairperson S R Viswanath said the Hebbal flyover was “one of the few places in the city” where the agency had given its space to put up hoardings. “What we need is an advertisement policy,” he said.

Finally, Madhuswamy said he would discuss with Yediyurappa to find a legal solution to this.

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Published 08 December 2020, 19:35 IST

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