LAHORE - Amid controversy, Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) has auctioned 17 sites of billboards at the cost of Rs254 million in specific areas of the city. The PHA planned to auctioned out 44 billboards through open auction instead of following the previous policy of awarding the contracts. Outdoor Publicity Association Punjab has flayed the auction policy by starting protest demonstrations in front of PHA office at Jail Road. On Monday, PHA had to auction 13 hoarding sites. But it was alleged that Outdoor Publicity Association manipulated the auction process by forcing the authority to auction only single hoarding worth Rs6.7 million at Liberty Chowk. It may be recalled that last year, the site was awarded to the contractor only at Rs 2.3 million and this time the rate of contract has been increased three times. The other 12 sites of hoarding at Main Boulevard would be presented for bidding on another day. According to details, the PHA had auctioned 16 hoarding sites located along various roads of the city. The auctioned sites included: Fascia Strips of 10 Underpasses at Canal Road, Pole Signs at various Roads including Jail Road and Main Boulevard Gulberg. The PHA through this auction has earned over Rs254 million as compared to over Rs41 million last year. Moreover, seven boards would be auctioned on Garden Town and Y Junction on October 15 while 11 boards will be auctioned at Ferozepur Road. The bidding of these auctions will be held at Gilani Park.