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No tender process followed for Ghatkopar hoarding; owner earned Rs 100 crore: BJP leader

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Mumbai, May 16 (PTI) BJP leader Kirit Somaiya on Thursday alleged that no tender process was followed for the hoarding that crashed in Ghatkopar three days ago, and the government got virtually nothing from the contract while the owner earned more than Rs 100 crore in revenue.

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Bhavesh Bhinde, the owner of Ego Media Pvt Ltd which owned the illegal hoarding, got the permission only because he was close to MLA Sunil Raut, brother of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut, he alleged.

"The revenue from the hoarding was over Rs 100 crore, the revenue from the fuel station (on which it collapsed) was Rs 25 crore. The Maharashtra government gets nothing. Couple of crores transferred to Maharashtra police Kalyan Nidhi (welfare fund)," Somaiya claimed in a letter written to deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis seeking a thorough inquiry.

As many as 16 persons died after the giant hoarding crashed on a petrol pump during a dust storm on Monday evening.

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"There were massive irregularities, illegality and lack of transparency in the setting up of the petrol pump and grant of permission to Bhinde's Ego Media to erect the hoarding," Somaiya told reporters.

The hoarding and petrol pump stood on land in possession of the Government Railway Police.

"No tender process was followed while giving permission to Bhavesh Bhinde...he got permission only because he was close to Sunil Raut, brother of Sanjay Raut," the BJP leader alleged.

He also found irregularities in the tender process for three nearby hoarding sites, Somaiya, a former MP, said.

"As per my information, three new sites were identified near the hoarding that collapsed, and 12 new hoardings were proposed to be erected. The entire tender procedure for these 12 hoardings is mired in irregularities. The tender process is for 10 years but the work order was for 30 years," he claimed. PTI ND KRK

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