Kolkata metro looks to private ads for revenue boost

Kolkata, Oct 27 (IANS) In a bid to cut losses by increasing non-fare revenues, Kolkata Metro is workng on a plan to invite corporates to brand its 24 stations, a top official said on Thursday.

Under a scheme called ‘Own Your Station’, private companies on shelling out a hefty amount will get advertising rights in all the metro stations and do a variety of branding exercises, Kolkata Metro General Manager M.C. Chauhan said at a CII Conference here on ease of doing business with Indian Railways.

“We will shortly float tenders to invite expressions of interests (EoIs),” he said, adding that Metro Railway also plans to earn money through its real estate assets.

The scheme may also lead to altering the names of the stations, with the name of the corporate prefixed or suffixed to the existing name.

Currently, Kolkata Metro, the first underground mass rapid transit system in the country which started operations in 1984, is incurring massive losses.

It was learnt that with every Rs 100 earned, Kolkata Metro coughs up around Rs 265.

Earlier, Ghanashyam Singh, General Manager, Eastern Railway, said there is a scope for investments in private freight terminals which are coming up at several places including Dankuni, Malda and New Alipore in the state.

To facilitate rapid development of network of freight terminals with private investments for a cost-effective and efficient services sector, the Railway Ministry has liberalised policy.

“The idea is to make Indian Railways both efficient and cost-effective,” Singh said.