Nashik: NMC Hoarding Scam Report Highlights Grave Concerns

Nashik: NMC Hoarding Scam Report Highlights Grave Concerns

Last October, the Nashik Outdoor Advertising Welfare Association raised concerns about the employees of the Advertising and Licensing Department colluding to manipulate the contract terms, resulting in a multimillion-rupee hoarding scam. A subsequent press conference reiterated these serious allegations, highlighting alterations made to the commencement order favouring specific entities.

Prashant NikaleUpdated: Thursday, March 28, 2024, 05:01 PM IST
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After two months of intensive investigation into the hoarding scam, Municipal Commissioner Dr. Ashok Karanjkar received the inquiry report on the matter. The report highlights several grave issues, indicating possible involvement of staff from the Advertising and Licensing Department.

The Municipal Corporation had floated a tender on December 16, 2021, inviting bids for installing advertisement hoardings on open spaces across Nashik city. Shockingly, it was discovered that the terms of the tender were altered to favour certain monopolists. Despite the tender specifying rates for hoardings on 28 designated open spaces within the municipal limits, the commencement order allowed monopolists to install hoardings in various unauthorised locations, including roads, traffic islands, dividers, parks, and more.

Last October, the Nashik Outdoor Advertising Welfare Association raised concerns about the employees of the Advertising and Licensing Department colluding to manipulate the contract terms, resulting in a multimillion-rupee hoarding scam. A subsequent press conference reiterated these serious allegations, particularly highlighting alterations made to the commencement order favouring specific entities.

The association asserted that the Municipal Corporation incurred significant revenue losses due to improperly executed tenders. In response to the complaint, Commissioner Ashok Karanjkar constituted a four-member committee, headed by Additional Commissioner Pradeep Chaudhary, to investigate the matter.

The committee's findings corroborated the allegations raised by the Outdoor Advertising Welfare Association. Shockingly, the inquiry revealed discrepancies wherein the tender originally mentioned only advertisement boards, but subsequent alterations allowed for illuminated boards, unipoles, LED walls, and more. Furthermore, the Municipal Corporation suffered financial losses due to uniform rates applied to various advertisement structures.

Contrary to reports of hoardings installed at 28 locations, investigations found hoardings erected at 63 sites across the city, potentially costing the Municipal Corporation millions.

In light of these revelations, the Nashik Outdoor Advertising Welfare Association has demanded a copy of the inquiry report from Deputy Commissioner Vivek Bhadane, responsible for various taxes. The association seeks transparency and accountability in addressing the scam that has significantly impacted the city's finances.

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