Point-counterpoint on the use of crematorium walls for advetising

Deepan informs me that Devangshu Datta has written a counterpoint of sorts to my post on the commercial use of crematorium space in Delhi, though I don't think he's read this quiet little blog of mine.

He writes:

The place has a long “frontage” on the main road and the MCD has a commendable attitude towards frontage; it believes in using it to generate revenue through the judicious placement of billboards advertising anything under the sun

[...]

Most people will not register the incongruity of the location and there’s no point being offended if it helps the MCD balance its budgets and continue to offer subsidised cremation rates.

It’s a healthy attitude: In the midst of death, enjoy consumerist existence while you can.


And finally:

And the crassness quite pales besides that of the funeral parlour on Mumbai’s SV Road, where the billboard says, “When you drop dead, drop in!”


If his article is satirical, then it is subtle. Just in case it isn't satirical, a few counter points:

1. From the advertisers perspective, I don't see much use of this space - the road is crowded only during peak hours. At others, it's an 80kmph zip down the flyover, and what with lanes coming in, you wouldn't really stop and glance at the adverts.

2. Secondly, as shown in the photos I've posted, to whoever is waiting for the traffic to get a move on, it is quite obvious that this is a crematorium wall. Only, one isn't sure whether it'll register with most that this is in bad taste, which it undoubtedly is.

3. Thirdly, is the the MCD or the NDMC's responsible for this. I don't know whether the MCD is strapped for cash, but if you've been living in Delhi, you can probably guess that the revenues from parking alone should help the municipal corporations (both of them) get into the green. Of course, there's gross mismanagement of that, but (lots) more on that later.

4. If this is about creating another source of revenue, then there are other sites on the same route that could have been developed for the same purpose. It is a long, busy road. A possible site is a where the road goes over a stinky nullah, right next to the 'Ferns and Petals' shop.

I know that saying that it's 'not in good taste' doesn't make much sense when the argument is countered with the economics of the thing, but I don't like this at all.

Have any of you come across something similar in your city? Do tell.
4 Comments:
Blogger Jabberwock said...

Did you read the whole piece? Most of us in office cracked up when we first saw it - especially the pizza boy bit and the last journeys of traditionalist VIPs.

Btw, DD's blog is here - unfortunately he has no intention of becoming a regular blogger, despite our many exhortations.

July 10, 2006 1:55 am  
Blogger Nikhil Pahwa said...

Of course I read the whole piece, and the parts that you mentioned were amusing. My comment in mainly on the end of the post where he does the balancing act.

July 10, 2006 4:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my question, then, to you is - "why no smart-alecky posts on the WC final?"

:-)

~harneet

July 10, 2006 9:06 pm  
Blogger Nikhil Pahwa said...

harneet: maybe some other time. Don't feel like posting a smart alecky post...or for that matter, anything at all.

July 10, 2006 9:49 pm  

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