HUBBALLI: If a plan of Hubballi-Dharwad Smart City Limited (HDSCL) goes as expected, Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) should be the first urban local body in to use (AR) technology to plug revenue loss due to billboards which are illegal, inaccurate in size and with expired approvals.
The project, which has been given approval, is estimated to cost of Rs 93.22 lakh. Revenue from billboards is one of the major sources of income for urban local bodies, be it HDMC or Bengaluru’s Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Sources in the HDSCL said urban local bodies are incurring revenue loss due to violations in billboards. At present, the size of billboards are measured physically which is of great risk as they are placed at a height.
HDSCL special officer S H Naregal told TOI that the local bodies can incur revenue loss pertaining to billboards in three possible ways. “Illegal billboards are put up without permission. In some cases, approval is taken for one billboard but two billboards are put up facing both sides of the road. Advertisers also increase the size of billboards marginally beyond the approved size. The billboards with expired approvals are also a major loss of income. In this case advertisers do not renew the timed-lease contracts,” he said.
HDSCL is adopting AR technology to address the issue. AR can help solve the billboard issues by using scale algorithm to determine the dimensions of billboards located too far for convenient measurement. A QR code is independently identified and serves as a record matching mechanism for pulling the relevant billboard details like approved height, dimensions, company name etc. Using a or AR glasses, one can see if there is any violation. The technology ensures cent per cent compliance to approving authorities.
As on June 2018, there are a total of 415 billboards within the jurisdiction of HDMC. “We have invited tenders for the selection of an agency to design, develop and support an AR-based application. We are also procuring devices from them. The handheld device can help us determine the size and violation, if any. The project will be released soon. The twin cities will be the first to have such a facility in the state,” Naregal said.
He added that the AR app will work without internet connectivity. The app will be with a GIS-based billboard database and HDMC‘s existing billboard database. The data will flow seamlessly between the app and database which will be secured and encrypted.
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