Delay in advertising policy execution inflicts Rs 15 cr loss

  • Shaheen P Parshad, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Dec 05, 2014 23:13 IST

The failure of the cash-strapped municipal corporation (MC) in implementing the advertising policy passed by the Punjab government is leading to a loss of advertising revenue to the tune of Rs 15 crore per annum per annum.

Not only this, the failure has also earned the MC a bad name that “its officials and local politicians conniving with advertisers to place banners and hoardings in the city in violation to the norms”.

Above all, the failure in implementing the advertising policy has evoked a sharp reaction from the Punjab and Haryana high court, which on Friday lambasted the MC for the inordinate delay. In the meantime, the officials submitted before to the court in writing that the policy would be tabled in the House for approval at its meeting on December 29.

Even as the city teeming with banners and hoardings, these are fetching a paltry income to the MC due to delay in implementing the advertising policy. Consequently, it faces a financial loss to the tune of Rs 15 crore per annum.

A number of hoardings can be seen at Crystal Chowk and other prominent places in the city.
As per councillors, the MC can earn massive revenue from the hoardings if it enforces the advertising policy seriously.

In November, SAD councillors led by senior deputy mayor Avtar Singh Truckanwala had approached the MC authorities, seeking formation of a committee to look into the “irregularities” in the placement of banners and hoardings, cases of illegal buildings and issues concerning the lifting of garbage.

Truckanwala alleged that the MC had hardly any income from the advertising hoarding, whereas it could have made good money which in turn could have augmented its poor financial health.

Since the House meeting has been called solely to give a nod to the advertising policy, it’s evident that the MC is yet to decide agendas for discussion.

Municipal commissioner Pradeep Sabharwal said the matter pertaining to the advertising policy was the top agenda for the December 29 meeting and the rest of the agendas would be finalised for the meeting if some issue cropped up ahead of it.

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