The Corporation council, which looked into the issue, suggested that the rights should be auctioned again and loss recovered from the agency

An enumeration of lampposts with potential for displaying advertisements has started in the city. The Kochi Corporation has initiated the counting of lampposts for auctioning off the rights for display advertisements, which is a revenue source for the civic administrators.

The move comes in the wake of allegations that the Corporation had suffered monetary loss when the rights were auctioned off last time. The civic administrators had suspended two of its officials from service following complaints of revenue loss.

The LDF councillors had alleged that the Corporation suffered a pecuniary loss of Rs. 65 lakh in the deal to allow advertisements in nearly 1,700 lampposts owned by the Corporation. The agency, which won the right, was expected to pay around Rs. 80 per lamppost to the civic administration. However, it refused to pay the full amount to the Corporation stating that only half the number of posts was available for displaying advertisements.

The Corporation could not collect the money from the company as no formal agreement was signed between the agency and the civic body regarding the deal. Moreover, the officials too didn’t have any idea of the number of lampposts available for display, said a civic administrator.

The Corporation council, which looked into the issue, suggested that the rights should be auctioned again and loss recovered from the agency.

The enumeration of the lampposts will be completed next week. An assessment on the number of lampposts which can be allotted for display of advertisements too would be completed by then, said a civic official.

The Corporation cannot auction off the right to display advertisement rights on lampposts on National Highways in the city from which road toll is collected. As these projects are built on Build-Operate-Transfer mode, the right to display advertisement is with the agency which has constructed the road.

In the city limits, the Corporation’s right is limited to the lampposts owned by the civic body and also the National Highway stretch between Edapally and Cheranalloor, he said.

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