Colombo, January 22 (newsin.asia): The authorities of the Chinese-built US$ 1.4 billion Colombo Port City on Saturday clarified that they will not charge any fee for personal photography and videography but will charge a variable fee for professional photography and videography.
A press release issued by the Colombo Harbor Engineering Company Port City Colombo Pvt. Limited, said: “Port City Colombo wishes to reiterate that a fee will be charged only for PROFESSIONAL photo or video shoot requests (for personal or commercial reasons) at public locations at Port City. There is NO truth to the social media posts that speculate the public needs to pay to take selfies, pictures, or videos during casual visits.”
“Charges will only be applicable for filming/photography of personal ceremonies, weddings, product or fashion promotions, music videos, advertisements or other types of commercial filming. Income received from these will be used for the maintenance of public spaces, lavatories and garbage clearing done by the Estate Management Company (EMC) which manages the public areas of Port City Colombo.”
The clarification followed the appearance of stories in the social media and TV news channels on Friday which, showing the fee rate card, that said that the port city will charge at least Rs.30,000 for taking pictures (presumably even with cellphones). A front-page story in Daily Mirror said on Saturday that a payment sheet introduced by Port City stated that if people wished to take professional pictures and videos for personal use, a payment ranging between Rs.30,000 to Rs.50,000 would have to be made.
According to the payment sheet for ‘personal’ shoots, if the shoot involved 2 to 5 people for one to three hours, a sum of Rs.30,000 should be paid, and if there were 6 to 10 people, for the same duration of time, the sum would be Rs.50,000. If there were more than 10 people involved in the project for the same period of time, then the payment was listed as ‘variable’.
For “commercial purposes”, if there are less than 10 people involved in the photo or video shoot for the same duration of time, a sum of Rs.100,000 would be charged. And if there are more than 10 people for the same time period, the sum charged was listed as ‘variable’.
The Head of Public Relations at the Colombo Harbor Engineering Company Port City Colombo Pvt. Limited, Kassapa Senarath, confirmed to Daily Mirror the authenticity of the payment requirements but clarified that they did not apply to those who wished to take selfies, pose for pictures or videos at the public viewing area when they visit the Marina.
He said that when the public gallery of the Port City Colombo opened its doors recently, there were many social media users, musicians and even companies who came with professional camera equipment to shoot to advertise their products.
Kassapa pointed out that this was a hindrance to the workers on the site as the Port City is still a construction site and the safety of the workers and others has to be maintained while observing all health guidelines relating to the pandemic.
On why the public should make the payment to the Bank of China, Kassapa said that the organization maintains an account with the local branch of the Bank of China.
Over 90,000 people, the young and old, the rich and the poor, locals and foreigners, had visited the Marina in the first week itself. The Marina was getting overcrowded. One daily paper pointed out that this could pose a threat of COVID infection if there was no crowd control. Reports said that the authorities will from now on allow only 700 visitors at a time.