Pune: Industrialist Punit Balan Slapped With Rs 3.2 Crore Fine By PMC Over Unauthorized Advertisements

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Sumit Singh

Pune, 3rd October 2023: Punit Balan, a prominent industrialist in Pune, has been fined a staggering Rs 3.2 crore by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for failing to secure permission for brand advertisements during the Dahihandi festival. The advertisements prominently featured Balan’s Oxyrich water bottle brand and were placed without authorization, leading to the hefty fine.

The unauthorized advertisements have been a point of contention among Pune citizens, particularly as they obstructed the view of the historic Shaniwarwada area. Public sentiment reached a boiling point, with many taking to social media to voice their displeasure. Numerous complaints were also lodged with Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar, prompting swift administrative action.

For years, Punit Balan has been financially supporting various Dahihandi and Ganeshotsav Mandals in Pune. In return, these Mandals have allowed the branding of Balan’s Oxyrich water bottles in their areas. The advertisements have become ubiquitous, appearing on nearly every street corner in the central areas of Pune city.

पुणे: पुनीत बालन यांना सव्वा तीन कोटींचा दंड महापालिकेचा दणका

Although the Maharashtra state government has waived off the fee for advertisements during the Ganeshotsav period, permission was still required for the Dahihandi festival. Between September 7 and September 17, approximately 2,500 panels advertising Balan’s company were placed on Pune’s city streets. Each panel measured at least four by eight feet. Calculating the fine based on a daily charge of Rs 40 per panel, the PMC arrived at the sum of Rs 3.2 crore.

Balan has been given a two-day deadline to pay the fine. The PMC has also issued a warning that failure to pay within the stipulated time will result in the amount being recovered from his property tax. Deputy Commissioner of Sky Signs Department, Madhav Jagtap, has officially issued the orders concerning the fine today.

When contacted, Balan said that he is currently not in India and will look into the matter once he comes back.

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