More than six months after the tenders of hoarding contracts were opened, the Sambalpur municipality is still to finalise the awardee. The issue raised a storm in the monthly meeting of the municipal council on Wednesday. It was decided to remove all the hoardings till the contract is finalised. Accordingly, the civic authorities and police brought down all the hoardings on Thursday.
In the absence of any new contractor, hoardings have become free for all and anyone desirous of putting up advertisements has been using the frames to display their products.
Sources said the hoardings had been awarded to a firm in the last fiscal at Rs 2,85,745 whose contract expired on March 31. A tender was floated on March 23 for the fiscal 2012-13. While a firm from Bhubaneswar quoted Rs 21,10,000, an agency of Rourkela Rs 45,20,000 and another agency from Sambalpur quoted Rs 19,99,000. Though the tenders were opened on April 20 and the agency from Rourkela was the highest bidder, six months after municipal authorities are yet to decide on the bids.
It is learnt that about 20 councillors, including Vice-Chairman Siddharth Saha had written to the Secretary, Urban Development Department over the issue and demanded a probe into the delay in finalising the tender. Sambalpur Municipal Chairperson Kalpana Sahu said no-confidence motion against the last Chairperson followed by by-elections to Ward 8 had delayed the finalisation process.