A day after an IAS officer working as Zonal Commissioner of Khairatabad in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) was issued a challan of Rs 10,000 by the Enforcement and Vigilance and Disaster Management Authorities (EV&DM) of the civic body, a rejoinder has been issued.
As part of a plantation drive, officials had erected banners which had Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's photographs and information about the drive near Golconda Fort. Based on a complaint by a Twitter user, the Central Enforcement Cell (CEC) of EV&DM had issued a challan.
In the rejoinder, the GHMC pointed out that the banner was made out of cloth, not plastic, and therefore, did not violate any rules.
The GHMC said that an agency had been given a contract to supply 40 cloth banners to the Khairatabad Zone.
"The cloth banners were erected at the distribution and planting sites in connection with the tree plantation programme undertaken by the GHMC on February 17. In this connection, it is to submit that the banners erected were completely made of fabric cloth over which the content was printed," the rejoinder said.
This was "not in violation of any norms of the government or GHMC and are not flex banners or made up of any material banned by the government or GHMC," the civic body added.
It further said, "As such, the penalty levied by the EV&DM wing towards erection of banner at Golconda Fort may be withdrawn and the Director (EV&DM), GHMC may be requested to take further necessary action."
Taking to Twitter, EV&DM Director Viswajit Kampati said, "It is to place in the notice of all concerned, that the banners that were put up by the Zonal Commissioner Khairatabad (and also used at various government events) have been clarified to be cloth banners and not flexis. Hence, the e-challan 80242 stands closed."
It is to place in the notice of all concerned, that the banners that were put up by the Zonal Commissioner Khairatabad (and also used at various govt events) have been clarified to be cloth banners and not flexis. Hence, the e-challan 80242 stands closed due to mistake of fact. pic.twitter.com/zKu0g2ktQnâ€” Director EV&DM, GHMC (@Director_EVDM) February 18, 2020
Clarifying the official rule in the comments, Viswajit said, "Cloth banners can be used with prior permission for private persons or entities. Government departments do not need permission when used for official purpose."