| Non-functional traffic signals at Dakbungalow roundabout in Patna. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Patna, Sept. 28: Police have cancelled the contract with the city-based Adam Media and Recreation Private Ltd, which was supposed to pay electricity tariff of the traffic signal posts and maintain them with the amount earned from advertisements.
According to an agreement signed between the two sides on April 14, 2006, the company was supposed to collect advertisements to be put up on the signal posts and, in return, would pay the power bills and look after the signal posts. But three months ago, the men in uniform had claimed that they found gross irregularities in the functioning of Adam Media and Recreation Private Ltd.
On September 21, the police asked the company to get all the advertisements removed from the traffic signal display boards and clear all pending electricity bills. The police also warned the company of legal action if the latter did not abide by the order.
“According to the agreement, the company was supposed to pay the electricity tariff for the traffic signals. The signal posts could be used for advertisements and the company was asked to maintain them. A similar contract was signed with the Calcutta-based Webel Mediatronics in 2005. The Rs 19-crore contract with Webel was about setting up and maintaining the signal posts and signal heads. The two companies were given two different contracts for the same work,” superintendent of police (city traffic) Shivdeep Lande told The Telegraph.
Though the contract with Adam was signed in 2006, traffic signals at 17 areas in Patna went out of order in 2005. “When the deal was signed, the police knew that the signals were working. But they were actually out of order and no one had checked it,” the SP said.
Sources in the police said the signals were repaired in 2006 and were operational only for a few months. All traffic signals in the city are now defunct. But Adam Media and Recreation Private Ltd continued to submit bills and the police department kept on paying. “This violates the contract,” Lande added.