Response to RTI query reveals that MMRDA gave no permission for any advertising; authority sends notice to agency concerned
Actual signage near Morya talao at Mulund East
Advertising agencies seem to have encroached on government signage meant for traffic direction on Mumbai highways, a response to a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by a city-based activist has revealed. The advertisements are cleverly placed on the back of hoardings on major roads in the city.
RTI activist Gajendra Pipada had sought information from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on the advertising/hoarding agreement executed and entered into by MMRDA for use of the back of eight signages on Eastern Express Highway between Mulund flyover and Ghatkopar Andheri Link Road. He also sought to know if a tender was floated for the process and whether a contractor was signed for the same.
‘No permission given’
MMRDA, in response to the query, stated, “As per the question asked by you, no permission has been given by the office of MMRDA to place the advertisement on the backside of signage. Therefore, the information you asked is not available in our office.”
Social activist Gajendra Pipada points to an ad on a signboard at Mulund Airoli toll naka
Pipada said, “When I called one such advertising agency, asking about the cost to place such advertisements, I was told it would cost around '3.5 lakh for a month.” Pipada told mid-day that there are several advertisements of different companies on such signages across the city, which are not legal.
‘Placed at over 30 spots’
“There are more than 30 such places across the city where advertisements have been placed behind the signage. If these advertisements are illegal, then the government is incurring a loss of crores of rupees,” he said, adding that this could also be a scam.
MMRDA Metropolitan Commissioner SVR Srinivas said, “We have sent a notice to the agency concerned. The department will investigate it and take action against illegal advertisements on the back of signage.” When contacted, the advertising agency Devangi Outdoor Advertising refused to comment on the matter.