Ad ban to rob Metro of Rs 9-cr revenues

Ad ban to rob Metro of Rs 9-cr revenues

BMRCL seeks waiver

The bare advertisement panels on Metro pillars after the BBMP banned all hoardings. DH Photo/Janardhan B K

The ban on advertisements and hoardings in the city has hit Namma Metro’s non-fare revenues with officials projecting a loss of more than Rs 9 crore till March.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) has gained a significant amount from advertisements on Metro pillars and portals, including some within stations. Each Metro pillar rakes in Rs 3,758 a month, adding to the non-fare revenue, which stood at Rs 44 crore last year.

The inauguration of the entire Phase 1 in June 2017 gave a boost to advertisement revenue which climbed from Rs 6.55 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 8.13 crore in the previous financial year. However, ever since the ban kicked in, BMRCL lost Rs 5.19 crore, which is projected to go up to Rs 9.21 crore by March if officials do not get the necessary permission.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) council has banned all outdoor advertisements for a year following a rap by the Karnataka High Court, which took exception to illegal flexes and hoardings leading to visual pollution in the city.

Consequently, thousands of panels on Metro piers have remained bare for about five months with officials reaching out to BBMP to exempt the Metro from the ban.

BMRCL managing director Ajay Seth told DH they were examining mechanisms adopted in other metropolitan cities in the country to regulate advertising at public places before taking up the matter with BBMP.

“BMRCL stands to lose potential revenue of about Rs 10 crore a year. Instead of the proposed total ban, BMRCL intends to seek regulated advertising, which does not cause a distraction to commuters,” he said.

Officials also said that tenders will be floated shortly for indoor advertisements but they have to wait for the BBMP’s bylaws to be notified before they can invite tenders for advertisements on pillars.

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