CMC earns over Rs. 70 Mn in 2017 due to open bidding process

Published : 9:00 am  January 4, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (68) reads | 
  • A space which was initially Rs. 200,000 was given away for over a million because of the open bidding process
  • The letting of advertising spaces in the city was controlled by Councillors, but that would not be the case any longer

 

By Nabeela Hussain   

The Colombo Municipality raked in over Rs. 70 million in 2017 through advertising avenues such as billboards and LED boards within the city.   


The sum, a vast increase compared to the Rs. 16 million earned in 2016, was earned when spaces were put up for competitive tenders, Colombo Municipality Commissioner V. K. A Anura said.   
Mr. Anura said the open competitive bidding process for advertising spaces within the city was now an independent source of income.   


“We were able to give a space which was initially given away for Rs. 200,000 for over a million because of the open bidding process and the independent advertising committee that we set up,” he said. The committee which initially had numerous political representatives were now entirely replaced by high ranking municipality officers and police officers in the city. “We have established the system and made sure that it cannot be changed for the foreseeable future,” he said.   


Anura went on to say that it was often the letting of advertising spaces in the city that was controlled by Councillors, but that would not be the case any longer.   


image_1518031808-0ff16eaf0e“The committee that we have set up is independent and they will be the ones who let out advertising spaces for anyone. This will ensure that we can provide the space to the highest bidder,” he said.   
Combined with the municipality’s strict rate collection policy, where advertising spaces are concerned, and the legalization of outdoor advertising boards, the Commissioner assured that the local government body had set up a viable and consistent method of income generation.   


Last year the municipality issued notices to property owners who allowed the placement of advertisement boards without the necessary permits from the municipality. Officials conducted a survey on the advertising spaces in the city only to find a vast majority to be illegal.   


It was found that even though the Municipality had issued guidelines for the procedure in 2010 it was not followed effectively by residents in the city. “Under the guidelines that were introduced before, property owners had to take permission for these boards, but they didn’t do it then. If these boards are not legalized soon, we will remove them,” the Commissioner said.