Pune: A trader who has a shop on the Market Yard Road, has written to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) as well as the Pune police alleging that two officials from the PMC sky sign department have been asking him for a bribe, threatening to demolish the sky sign that the trader has put up apparently after getting proper licences. The PMC however, tried to underplay the complaint.
Pokarram Choudhary, the proprietor of Balaji Trading Company, which is next to Hotel Utsav at Market Yard Road, had put up a signage related to his business of approximately 3.75 feet in width and 30 feet in length. The signage was put up by Choudhary after paying required taxes and completing the formalities.
However, according to Choudhary, Vishal Patil, an engineer at the sky sign department and Vilas Jagtap, who is the license inspector at the department, demolished the signage. “My complete file of licences was with them for construction approval. I told them I have the No Objection Certificate but they demolished the sign and in the process, caused a damage to my goods worth 15 lakh rupees.”
Choudhary said that he had put up the signage again and since then, the two officials have repeatedly threatened him of demolition. “The PMC tells me that my file of approved documents was misplaced or lost. Patil and Jagtap have been asking me to pay Rs 4 lakh to prevent the demolition of my signage,” Choudhary narrated, adding, “I have tried to reason with them many times after which I decided to write to the PMC and the police commissioner.”
The PMC however, tried to underplay the incident. Ravi Pawar, who has recently taken charge of the sky sign department, said, “The said signage was demolished as the person could not produce the documents before the officials and we have heard that he has put it up again. If he has any receipts or documents, he can produce it at the regional office who have been given the authority in such cases.”
“If there has been a demand for a bribe, the person can write to the PMC and we will take action,” Pawar added.