NEW DELHI: The contracts pertaining to the much-anticipated street furniture project initiated by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are likely to be signed in about a month’s time. A senior BMC official told network2media, “We are in the process of signing the final contracts and I think this process would take about a month. However, a final decision on zone II is yet to be taken.”
It may be recalled that eights months ago BMC had issued letters-of-intent to seven out-of-home firms to execute the street furniture project in seven different zones of the city of Mumbai. The civic body had shortlisted Clear Channel for zone I, Stroer Media for zone II, JC Decaux for zone III, Zenith Outdoor for zone IV, Pioneer Publicity for zone V, Adlabs for zone VI and Laqshya Outdoor for zone VII. However, Stroer Media pulled out of the project soon after, further suggesting that zone II be allotted to a new venture called Xorex-Laqshya.
Thereafter, BMC held a meeting to discuss the mode of operation for the project, wherein it was discussed that the civic body would provide a single window for the media owners to obtain all requisite departmental permissions for executing the project. But, the issue remains unresolved.
Yet, the expectations are that the project will get underway in early 2010. Stating this, Indrajit Sen, president – projects, Laqshya Outdoor, said, “If everything well and as per the time-table, the pilot work should begin before March 2010 and the whole project will be completed by end-2010.” Laqshya Outdoor has partnered with German OOH firm Karmer Design Association for the project.
He added that “while the street furniture project will open doors to new sources of revenue, it will also provide an alternative advertising solution to the advertisers in addition to beautifying the city.”
Commenting on the progress of the project, Sunil Vasudeva, director, Pioneer Publicity, said that the preparatory work for the project is underway and that the civic authority should be ready anytime soon to sign the final agreement. Vasudeva added, “The street furniture initiative will create different revenue streams for OOH media owners as well as the civic authority. The city too will get a facelift and better civic amenities.” For zone V, Pioneer Publicity has joined hands with Spain-based OOH firm Primur.
Also, for the project, Adlabs-promoted OOH arm Big Street has associated with Honkong’s United Asian Holding’s OOH entity, Qumbet. Rabe T Iyer, head, Big Street, said, “The BMC is currently in the process of reviewing the draft of the presentations and if everything goes well, the civic authority will soon sign the final agreement with the media owners.”
On the importance of the project, Iyer added, “The street furniture project will provide new standards of living with improved civic amenities in addition to giving a fresh and new look to the city.”
For a few of the firms that missed the bus, the hope of being part of the project rests on the possibility of a re-tendering of some area of the project. Geetika Gulati, spokesperson, Alakh Advertising & Publicity, said, “Yes definitely we are still interested in the project and if BMC re-tenders zone-II, we will surely participate.”
Commenting on this project and the related developments, Sunder Hemrajani, managing director, Times OOH, said, “Like any other project, we will first evaluate the merits of the zone and if it meets our norms and conditions, we will take a suitable call.”