The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Coporation (GHMC) has slapped a fine amounting to `2.3 crore on nine agencies for not maintaining amenities like lighting, seating, flooring, route maps and route numbers at bus shelters in the city. The notices were issued to the agencies following an inspection by the Mayor and Commissioner of the GHMC on October 2.
Out of the 1281 bus shelters allotted by the GHMC to 10 agencies, only 840 were constructed. The rest were not built citing non-availability of space, while some shelters were removed due to road-widening works for the metro rail project. As per the information provided by D Jayraj Kennedy, Addl. Commissioner (Electrical and Advertisement), 384 bus shelters lack amenities, which is roughly 45 per cent of the total number.
“The notices have been sent and the agencies will have to pay the penalty for sure. But they were not satisfied with the inspection, and wanted us to conduct joint inspections along with their representatives,” said Kennedy. He said that more than half of the joint inspections were finished, and the remaining will be completed soon after which the agencies will have to pay the penalty.
The biggest violator of all the nine agencies is Uni Ads, which constructed 390 bus shelters, out of which 172 lack amenities, for which it was fined `1,03,20000. Prakash Arts Moving Media came next in terms of the penalty. It constructed 137 bus shelters and was fined ` 49,80000 for lack of amenities at 83 points.
The other agencies which failed to maintain some of their shelters are Sri Venkateshwara, Times Innovative media, Prakash Arts, Crisis Management, G Mastan Reddy, Mayuri Engineering, and Neo Media. Only one agency named Snap India which constructed 12 bus shelters, was not fined since there was no fault found at its shelters.
Since this is the first time that the GHMC took such an action, they levied a maximum of `60,000 per bus shelter. The Addl. Commissioner explained that after the amounts are settled, GHMC will take up constant monitoring to ensure that the shelters remain in perfect condition. If the agencies fail to pay up, Kennedy replied that further action will be taken as per the agreement between them and GHMC.