Illegal advertisements dot railway properties
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Banners, posters put up by unauthorised people deface stations; 'problem more serious on local, intercity trains'
Those visiting the Pune, Shivajinagar and Khadki railway stations and passengers travelling in local and intercity trains will find it difficult to miss the scores of advertisements put up inside the coaches and all over the station premises. But not many know that most of these advertisements have been put up illegally, defacing the trains and station premises. And with the people putting up such hoardings, banners, posters and missing person bills not paying any charges for using the space, the Railways is even losing out on earning revenue.
The issue is most conspicuous on the Pune-Lonavala locals and intercity trains operating between Pune and Mumbai, say passengers who regularly travel on these routes.
The Pune division has given out advertising rights to various contractors after going through a long and complicated tendering exercise for using space inside the station premises, at other properties held by the division in the city and suburbs and on the trains operated by it. The contractors put up advertisements in the form of hoardings, digital banners, display monitors only at allotted places at platforms, foot over-bridges and compound walls.
"We have paid exorbitant money to the railways to get the advertising rights. However, there are many instances where unauthorised people have illegally put up their posters, bills and hoardings," said an advertising contractor with the Railways, who did not wish to be named.
But posters have not only come up at unauthorised spaces, but they are even pasted on the existing material, "thus covering the content of our ads", said the contractor.
He said many a time political workers would put up illegal hoardings with birthday wishes to political leaders on railway properties. "They also paint huge ads of rallies or camps organised by different political outfits," he added.