AMC to spend Rs 75L to erase political graffiti

Times of India | 1 week ago | 18-09-2022 | 06:35 am

AMC to spend Rs 75L to erase political graffiti

AHMEDABAD: Thousands of walls and public property including the pillars of metro corridor in the city have been covered with political graffiti in the last three months, as political parties campaign ahead of the assembly elections. As the election commission will announce election dates any day now, the city civic body has started erasing slogans and party symbols from the walls of government property in the city. This process will cost the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) about Rs 75 lakh, while its coffers are nearly empty. The AMC has instructed the engineering departments of all seven municipal zones to float tenders for erasing political slogans and other graffiti from public property. Sources said in some zones, this work has already begun. In the last three months the BJP, Congress and AAP have painted their slogans and symbols in public places as part of their campaigns. The properties concerned include flyovers, pillars, walls, underpasses and even the compound wall of the AMC's headquarters in Danapith. Sources said most zonal offices have already floated tenders and some have already been sanctioned. They said each zone will spend Rs 10-12 lakh on erasing political advertisements. An official of the AMC engineering department, on condition of anonymity, said the total expenditure will work out to about Rs 75 lakh. Sources said ahead of the 2017 assembly elections, the AMC spent Rs 3 crore on erasing political graffiti and removal of political banners, posters and hoardings. In August, the civic body's political and executive wings accepted that it does not have enough funds to operate. To continue operation, the AMC took a loan of Rs 350 crore from the state government. The civic body's liabilities stand at Rs 700 crore, including Rs 350 crore to private contractors and Rs 350 crore to the state government for outstanding bills for raw water and other works. During an AMC standing committee's meeting on in August, attended by municipal commissioner Lochan Sehra, mayor Kirit Parmar, standing committee chairman Hitesh Barot and other senior functionaries of the political and executive wings, it was decided to ask Gujarat State Financial Services Ltd (GSFS) for a loan of Rs 350 crore to fund routine operations. The interest rate will be 8%. AMC has already borrowed Rs 350 crore from GSFS at 6.75% interest to fund Phase 2 of the Sabarmati Riverfront.

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