Kolkata: The state Public Works Department (PWD) will now earn revenue directly from the advertising agencies that put up banners, hoarding or flexes in the 18 state highways across the state. The decision comes with chief minister Mamata Banerjee prodding all government departments to chalk out plans to boost the revenue in the state and curtail expenses. The local urban bodies or the panchayet allow such advertisements by charging a small amount from the agencies that put them up.
“We feel that the state exchequer in terms of revenue earned from such advertisement hoardings would get a boost with the PWD department’s direct interference in this process. We are responsible for maintaining state highways that spans more than 4000 km across the state,” a senior official of the PWD department said.
The official feels that the step will also curb the practice of putting illegal hoardings and streamline the entire process. “We have finalised everything apart from the rates. We are waiting for the green signal of the minister in charge of the department, following which we will finalise the rates depending upon the sizes,” the official added.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) monitors the hoardings and banners that are put across the city and earns a revenue of around `50 crore annually from these. According to sources, lack of manpower on the part of local bodies to monitor the activities of the advertisement agencies is resulting in relatively low revenue from these hoardings and banners. “The KMC not only earns a good revenue from these but also earns from conducting raids against illegal hoardings,” the official said.