Pune :Bus for Ad Update

Although over a month has passed since the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) received a proposal from a Malaysian firm, offering to provide 2,500 buses as ‘royalty’ in exchange for advertisement rights for 15 years, things are yet to move forward. Apparently, the offer from the foreign company has various conditions attached and PMPML authorities are still mulling over whether to accept them or not. PMPML authorities will meet with the firm next week to negotiate the conditions, after which a clearer picture will emerge. The Malaysian offer came in the first week of June, one of six in reply to PMPML’s proposal of ‘buses for ads’. The other five bidders were from India. PMPML had chosen the Malaysian offer, saying it was the ‘best’ offer it has received. Now, however, PMPML seems to be doing a rethink and says there are many conditions attached to the offer. According to PMPML managing director Subrao Patil, one of the conditions is that the firm will provide 299 buses in the first year. The second condition, which according to authorities is questionable, says that the next lot of buses will be provided depending on the response the firm gets to its advertisements. Patil has questioned how such a condition could be accepted.The firm also wants that all advertisement sites be handed over to them immediately. According to Patil, these conditions were to be discussed at a meeting last week, but the meeting has now been postponed to next week.When PMPML invited bids for its ‘buses for ads’ proposal, it had pointed out that advertisements could be put on the interiors and the exteriors of the buses. It had also said that over 1,000 bus shelters were available for advertisements in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. The number of bus shelters would later increase to 2,000 as many of them are to be installed on a build-operate-transfer basis.The new bus shelters would have futuristic designs, it had said. PMPML authorities believe there is huge revenue potential through advertisements in Pune as PMPML is the only organisation which provides public transport in the city.

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