For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Those who wish to put up billboards or cut-outs in public spaces in the city of Colombo will have to get approval from the Ministry of Defence.
Billboards have been mismanaged, and the Defence Ministry has therefore decided to monitor the placing of billboards and cutouts in the city, said Media Centre for National Security Director-General, Lakshman Hulugalle.
Billboards have been mismanaged because the CMC has not been functioning, according to Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) commissioner Badrani Jayawardena. She said a committee comprising members of the CMC, the Defence Ministry and the Urban Development Authority (UDA) will be jointly overseeing the approval and placement of billboards and cut-outs.
The CMC has been losing millions of rupees in revenue each year because individuals and organisations that have bought billboard space have defaulted on payments. In addition, a number of hoardings have been put up illegally.
The CMC has identified 35 companies from groups or organisations that responded to a call for tenders to put up hoardings within city limits. Fifteen other companies have appealed to be registered, and their requests are being considered, Mrs. Jayawardena told the Sunday Times.