Laqshya gives Indore its first pedestrian overbridge with escalator

By Shivani Mathur , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | August 05, 2008
Laqshya Outdoor will recover costs by leasing the properties as advertising space. IMC will earn revenue in the form of licence fees and the public will get global standard pedestrian utilities - a win-win model for all

The Indore & #BANNER1 & # Municipal Corporation (IMC) has awarded a 10-year contract to Laqshya Outdoor to construct and maintain two foot overbridges (FOBs) with escalators on Indore's busy MG Road and AB Road.

The tender is a public-private partnership (PPP) initiated by the IMC in an effort to provide safe crossovers for pedestrians on these busy roads. Laqshya Outdoor will recover the costs it incurs by leasing these properties as advertising space. The IMC will earn revenue in the form of licence fees and the public will get global standard pedestrian utilities - a win-win model for all.

The FOBs are being touted as the country's first such PPP ventures. The first of the two was inaugurated on July 23 by the mayor of Indore, Uma Shashi Sharma. Work on the second FOB is expected to start soon, once the various approvals and permissions are obtained.

FOB with escalator
When asked about the cost of installing the escalators, Soumitra Bhattacharya, chief executive officer, Laqshya Outdoor, declined to divulge any figures. All he said in an email interview with afaqs! was that each installation cost crores of rupees.

The FOBs have a total of three faces on either side for the placement of ads. Bhattacharya says opportunities for brand visibility on such facilities depend on the media option that can be created on or around the unit that has been fabricated and how prominent it is. Thus, it depends entirely on the option.

"Pricing and occupancy are determined by market realities and fluctuate with time. Currently, we have three clients who have booked space for a certain period, but there isn't any back-to-back arrangement yet for selling," says Bhattacharya.

Currently, MetLife occupies the spots on the recently inaugurated facility.

Asked whether similar projects will be implemented in other cities, Bhattacharya says, "For such PPP projects to happen, it is important that the relevant municipal authority be progressive and open to new ideas. It was possible in Indore because the IMC was open to the idea. Also, by our calculations, we realised that there was a certain amount of revenue potential which made this project viable in Indore. We are open to any city if it is a win-win project for all the participants, especially if it helps the citizens by giving them world class facilities."

The international best practice of PPP is being increasingly implemented throughout the country for the construction of public service amenities such as toilets, FOBs, bus shelters, garbage bins and overhead signage. PPPs allow public bodies to provide long overdue, world class facilities without any financial burden on the state exchequer.

In June 2007, Laqshya Outdoor bagged a contract from the IMC to build and maintain a chain of 25 modern public utilities in Indore.

Laqshya Outdoor is a division of Laqshya Media, a leading OOH company which started its operations in 1997. It has a pan-India presence and also functions in Sri Lanka, North Africa, Southeast Asia and Mauritius. In 2007, it won the creative duties for the Hyderabad international airport and for Sri Lanka's Colombo airport for five years.

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