The Telegraph
Wednesday , June 4 , 2014
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Fee fight against illegal hoardings

Advertisers, no more free space please.

The cash-starved Chas municipality has finally decided to remove all illegal hoardings that have sprung up almost everywhere, thus not only clearing the decks to begin collecting taxes from billboards but also setting an example for its Phusro counterpart.

The Chas and Phusro civic bodies dont have a registration fee collection system for billboards since Jharkhand came into being 13 years ago, thereby losing out on crores of rupees by way of revenues. Thousands of commercial and political hoardings have come up across Bokaro, mostly at prominent commercial centres, without paying a penny in tax an issue that had been highlighted by The Telegraph.

But the Chas municipality resolved to make the wrong right at an emergency meeting headed by its chairperson Ganga Bhalotia and attended by ward councillors on Monday.

A recent survey undertaken by a team sent by us found out that billboards have mushroomed in the township. We realised that they are enjoying free publicity and have decided to charge registration fees from now on. This will help us generate revenues for the municipality, whose expenses are much higher than its income. All ward councillors, including chief executive officer of Chas municipality Krishna Kumar, were unanimous on this decision, Bhalotia told The Telegraph.

He added that all before the registration drive kicks off, all the existing hoardings would be brought down. The exercise will start from next week.

Its true that we lost big money for years for not initiating the registration system and floating tenders to sell advertising space, which fetches revenues in metro cities. But its better late than never. We will now go all out to implement the system in Chas and remove all illegal hoardings, promised CEO Krishna Kumar.

Asked whether they would also start charging registration fees from advertisers, Rahul Kumar Sinha, SDO of Bermo that comes under Phusro municipality, said: If Chas municipality has done it, Phusro should follow. I will go through the decision taken by Chas municipality and try and implement it for Phusro as well.

Bokaro additional collector Sanjay Kumar said the step should have been taken much earlier.

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