The process of floating tenders for putting up advertisements across Pune has become the first point of contention between the Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (PSCDCL) and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
PMC corporators had, in December, decided to allow the Smart City agency to implement the tendering process, after the PSCDCL proposed to do so in order to boost revenue from hoarding charges. PSCDCL has promised to ensure a revenue of Rs 70 crore for the PMC and Rs 20 crore for the PMPML from the advertising permissions, while the PMC has said it could generate more than Rs 100 crore from it.
If the PSCDCL implements the tender process in the civic jurisdiction, it will be able to collect 2 per cent of the final cost of the advertisement revenue. But the civic administration has pointed out that it would be improper to allow another government or semi-government body to work in the civic jurisdiction.
First tussle highlights possible areas of conflict
The tussle between the PMC and Pune Smart City SPV over advertising tenders has opened up a thus-far hidden turf-war which has existed since the launch of the Smart City mission. The two agencies have a few overlapping mandates in the civic jurisdiction, which requires collaboration rather than conflict. The Pune Smart City had submitted the proposal to civic administration on tendering the advertisement permission to increase revenues a few days ago. Since there was no response from the municipal corporation, the elected representatives of the PMC used their power and agreed to the proposal sent by the Smart city corporation. There are other proposals from the Smart City corporation currently pending with PMC for implementation. These include the construction of a multi-modal hub in Baner.
In a proposal tabled before the standing committee, Municipal Commissioner Saurabh Rao has urged the panel as well as the general body of the PMC to reconsider its decision. “The regulation and control of advertisements in the civic jurisdiction, and executing the tender process for it, is not related to the PSCDCL. The PMC has a capable independent mechanism to execute the tender process… therefore, it would be improper to hand over the work in the civic jurisdiction to any other government or semi-government organisation,” he said.
“The proposal tabled by the elected representatives in front of the standing committee and the general body was approved without seeking the opinion of the civic administration. As per the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act and advertising policy, it is the responsibility of the PMC to give permissions and regulate advertisements in the civic jurisdiction,” he said.
Earlier, the PSCDCL was supposed to carry out a study, along with a private agency, on boosting revenue from advertisements. The study was going to focus on generating revenue from advertisement permissions and submit the report to the civic body, along with its own recommendations. The Smart City agency, however, merged the private agency’s study report and a proposal of the PMC, from 2015, on carrying out the tender process for allowing hoardings in four zones of the civic body.
There are 1,886 legal hoardings in the civic jurisdiction that generate about Rs 28 crore in revenue per year.