Bharatiya Janata Party (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, reported the PTI.

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, according to the PTI.

“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 per the PTI.

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

“There were massive irregularities, illegality and lack of transparency in the setting up of the petrol pump and grant of permission to Bhavesh Bhinde`s Ego Media to erect the hoarding,” Somaiya told reporters, the news agency reported.

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

“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, as per the PTI.

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, the news agency reported on Thursday.

Bhavesh Bhinde arrested from Udaipur by Mumbai Police, say officials

Days after registering a case against the Bhavesh Bhinde, owner of the billboard that had collapsed on Monday and claimed 16 lives, the Mumbai Police arrested him from Udaipur, the officials said on Thursday.

The crime branch team of Mumbai police arrested Bhavesh Bhinde, the director of Ego Media Pvt Ltd, the advertising agency responsible for erecting the hoarding in Ghatkopar area of Mumbai.

Official sources said that Bhinde was allegedly hiding in a restaurant in Udaipur.

The Mumbai Crime Branch took him into custody and later secured his transit from a court in Udaipur and was on it`s way to Mumbai.

The Pantnagar Police had registered an FIR against Bhavesh Bhinde for negligence leading to the death of 16 people and injuring 79 people after a huge hoarding collapsed on May 13.

(with PTI inputs)

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