The civic body in Maharashtra’s Pune has imposed a fine of Rs 3.2 crore on a local businessman for “defacing” the city by putting up boards carrying advertisements without its permission during the Dahi Handi festival celebrated last month, an official said.
The notice was issued by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to Punit Balan, a film producer and owner of several sporting teams, on Tuesday.
Dahi Handi, which is part of the Krishna Janmashtami (Lord Krishna birth anniversary) festival, was celebrated on September 7.
As per the notice issued by Madhav Jagtap, chief of the PMC’s skysign and licence department, the advertisements put up by Balan were installed at a number of locations across the city during the festival, and they remained there for around 10 days.
In a statement issued to media, the civic body said, “A notice has been sent to Punit Balan, an entrepreneur based in Pune, for defacing the city by unauthorised material posted in advertisements during the Dahi Handi festival around the city.
“A fine of Rs 3.2 crore was imposed on Balan for placing 2,500 advertisement boards without taking any prior permission from the administration,” it said.
In the notice to Balan, the PMC said its licence inspectors found that 2,500 (advertisement) boards of a private company were installed without prior permission, which led to the defacement of the city. These advertising boards covered an area of around 80,000 sq ft, it said.
The PMC asked Balan to pay Rs 3.2 crore fine to it within two days of the receipt of the notice, failing which legal action would be initiated and the amount would be recovered from his property tax.
Action was also taken under section 244 of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act for putting advertising material without permission, it added.
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