After a decade, again Delhi has been allowed to place billboards officially. The Supreme Court of India recently approved a policy about the same, withdrawing the ban on billboards in the capital. It is a good news for advertisers who are always looking for innovative opportunities through outdoor media. Outdoor advertising community who were hard pressed since a blanket ban on these billboards was imposed on the plea that this becomes traffic hazard and instrumental towards road accidents, and also for Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) that will get ten times more revenue every year.
The apex court’s approval to the recommendations of the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), which okayed the MCD’s outdoor advertisement policy with certain guidelines, paves the way for billboards to come back to areas administrated by the New Delhi Municipal Council, the cantonment area and railway land. However, the new policy disallows hoardings near cremation grounds and along all arterial stretches, viz Ring Road; and rooftop hoardings. Besides, to avoid road accidents, billboards on unipoles will be placed at a distance of 50 m from red lights and intersections.
The new policy is more productive for Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) as it will receive around Rs 400 crore annually against forty crore at present. MCD is on its way to introduce the concept of using outdoor advertisement through street furniture, public amenities of the city such as railway carriages, buses, commercial passenger vehicles, bus que shelters, public garbage facilities and public toilets. It is the first comprehensive outdoor advertising policy, which could be a model for other cities in India.
With the ban being lifted on billboards in Delhi, the companies looking for outdoor advertising of their products and brands shall not have to just depend on adverting on public toilets and the band of bus que shelters.