THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The City Corporation’s ultimatum to those erecting hoardings to either pay their taxes or get their hoardings down seems to have clicked, especially with the advertisement agencies. While only Rs 75 lakh was collected last fiscal in terms of tax from hoardings, it has gone up to Rs 1.24 crore when the fiscal ended this March. Buoyed by the response, the Corporation is planning to take a count of the total hoardings erected within the length and breadth of the city. For years, the Corporation has been sending out warning signals to those erecting illegal hoardings, but in vain. Last month, when it actually started bringing down a couple of hoardings, the agencies got the message.
This was followed by a meeting which was attended by various advertisement agencies and their top-notch representatives to whom the Corporation made its intentions clear.
‘’Usually, the agencies delay the tax payment and keep it for the fiscal end. But we have now altered it. Unless the agencies pay tax at the time of issuance of licence, no permission will be granted to put up hoardings,’’ said Deputy Mayor G Happykumar.
He added that from this month, the new green and yellow colour holograms will become mandatory on hoardings. These stickers will be given out only if the agency acquires the licence through payment.
It was not just the holograms being mandatory, but also the pulling down of hoardings which made the agencies sense the seriousness of the issue. The period of licence; the format, like the specific size and shape for which the license was issued; and the type of licence, will be mentioned on the hologram. The bill collectors would carry out routine checks on whether there are hoardings without the holograms. The holograms have been made by C-DIT.
Meanwhile, the Corporation is also thinking of taking stock of the hoardings in the city. This would be done when the licences for the new fiscal would be renewed or newly issued.