Prayagraj OOH industry caught in a sticky wicket ahead of Kumbh Mela
By Bhawana Anand - December 05, 2018
Media owners cite that the ULB has set unviable cost on media to be contracted, apart from pushing the industry on the backfoot with regard to existing media displays
The urban local body (ULB) in the city of Prayagraj, the new name of the city of Allahabad, has come down heavily on outdoor media citing issues with regard to their location, placement, etc. Media owners there see the civic body’s action as an outcome of the GST implementation post which the ULB is not able to raise taxes separately from the media owners. The ULB has not only called for removal of media across the city, but has come up with, what the local trade sees as, unviably high license fee on media that may be put up in the run-up to the Kumbh Mela.
While the ULB is looking to making capital of the revenue opportunity from granting permission for putting up media during the Kumbh Mela, the civic body – in tandem with the body coordinating the large event – is keeping the tender costs very high, explained a local media owner. As a result, there was hardly any participation in the tendering of the said media. Moreover, with just about 45 days to go for the Mela, the media owners assert there is too little time left to recover such significantly high media costs.
The media owners with the local outdoor association at the lead approached the High Court which issued the orders to the ULB to reply on the applications submitted by the media owners; the ULB has since given a negative response to the applications. Currently, the Allahabad Outdoor Welfare Association i.e. the local outdoor association is making representation to different officials to get the outdoor business back on track.