Varanasi media owners reeling under'arbitrary action' taken by Nagar Nigam
By Bhawana Anand - May 08, 2017
Nearly 200 hoardings of 20ft x 20ft size have come under the axe although they are all legit and properly awarded by the Nigam to the media owners through tendering for a period of two years.
Media owners in the city of Varanasi are at the receiving end of unexpected action taken by the Varanasi Nagar Nigam in the name of ‘Swachch Bharat Abhiyan’. Nearly 200 hoardings of 20ft x 20ft size have come under the axe although they are all legit and properly awarded by the Nigam to the media owners through tendering for a period of two years, and of which one year has been completed. The affected media sites are located close to the main roads.
The media owners assert that the civic body took the arbitrary action without consulting the outdoor media owners. All that they received was a notice from the Nigam for removal of sites about a month back.
“The local body took the decision all by themselves without consulting us. We even approached the High Court. Though this is being done in the name of development, this is going to affect the outdoor business badly,” one media owner told Media4Growth.
Swachch Bharat Abhiyan was cited as the reason behind the Nigam’s action. “This is a big loss to the entire Varanasi media owner fraternity. However, we can’t do much about it as the action has already been taken by the Nigam,” said another local media owner.
The specialist agencies are also likely to be hard put to find good media in the city when planning campaigns for brands. However, Umesh Singh, GM -- Planning & Buying, Laqshya Media, explained that there are still “formats like unipoles and rooftop media that we can offer to our clients. Therefore, I don’t see a major concern.” Roadside media is also available in the outer limits of the city.
From the advertisers’ perspective, Varanasi has emerged as a key destination within Uttar Pradesh. Earlier, it were the retailers and local players who mainly opted for outdoor advertising in the city but now bigger brands are seen on the OOH canvas there.