The PMC Sky Sign Department in-charge Vijay Dahibhate said the civic administration had stopped levying fees since 2016 on advertisements put up by real estate developers on construction sites. “The city unit of CREDAI had invoked the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act and urged us to not charge advertising fees for the boards put up by real estate developer at their construction sites. On the advice of the civic legal department, the municipal commissioner had directed the civic administration to not charge fees for advertisements to sell properties,” said Dahibhate.
He added that real estate developers have been putting up more than one advertising board at construction sites since they do not need PMC permission for it. “There is no PMC control over it and advertising boards in large numbers are being put up by real estate developers at construction sites for commercial purposes,” he said.
There is no specific mention in the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act on how many advertising boards should be put up by real estate developers at construction sites and no clarity on how many advertising boards should be exempted from fees, for which directions were sought from the municipal commissioner, Dahibhate said.
“The municipal commissioner has directed that only one advertising board at the construction site should be given exemption in fees and the civic administration should charge fees for all other advertising boards,” he said.
He said the staff of the sky sign department have been asked to start incurring fees for more than one advertisement board. He said the PMC was losing revenue because real estate developers were putting advertising boards all around construction sites for commercial purposes. The large number of advertising boards were also defacing the city, he added.
The advertising fees is the latest among several measures the civic administration has taken to increase its revenue and check revenue loss and theft. The municipal commissioner recently directed the civic health department to not allow urban poor people to avail the benefits of the civic health scheme, which provides financial assistance up to Rs 1 lakh for medical treatment, if the claimants had not paid property tax or user charge to the PMC.
The civic body has also clarified that its life insurance scheme of Rs 5 lakh would be applicable only for citizens and family members if there are no property tax dues in their name.