Hyderabad: The traffic police has been denting the income of the GHMC, according to officials. Traffic cops, without obtaining permission from the corporation, have been allowing advertisements on traffic booths, barricades and other locations.
The GHMC charges a fee for such advertisements and is unable to levy it as the police has given out the advertisement space.
Apex court orders say that the corporation can levy 75 per cent of property tax for full services, 50 per cent for partial services and 33.33 per cent for nil service, apart from collecting tax, according to section 421 of the GHMC Act.
A GHMC official said that on the Gachibowli flyover alone, the traffic police has established eight booths which have advertisements.
Corporation sources said that the traffic cops are violating Section 421 the GHMC Act, where any advertiser has to obtain permission from the civic body regardless of the department.
Zonal commissioners in the corporation said that none of the traffic cops have approached the civic body to allow advertisements on the booths in about 250 junctions notified by the department and an enormous number of barricades. They said according to the Act, all signboards, except wall writings, paintings and black and white boards, come under the tax net.
The GHMC has been collecting advertisement tax on two feet x two feet or above boards. For neon signboards, GHMC collects Rs 1,200 per square (sq) metre, while for vinyl boards Rs. 600 per square metre.
Though the irregularities have been brought to the notice of the department, no one has responded till date.
Specifically in the IT corridors, cops have placed over 1,000 advertisements which amount over Rs 2 crore in taxes. Sources said that cops have never worked in tandem with the corporation's traffic and transportation wing for the setting up the barricades in middle of the roads which has been posing a grave threat to commuters.
GHMC commissioner, D.S. Lokesh Kumar, said the issue would be taken up at an inter-departmental meeting. He said that a modality would be brought in to bring all advertisements on traffic booths and barricades into the tax net.
Asked about the issue, a traffic police officer said that the advertisements on the barricades and other infrastructure had been placed to acknowledge corporate social responsibility contributions which the traffic police depended on as they were short of funds....