Next time the city experiences showers accompanied by gales make a silent prayer. Not even half of the 2,300-odd hoardings set up by ad agencies have submitted the mandatory structural stability certificates to GHMC despite lives lost due to crashing of such structures in the last few years.

Conveniently ignoring the notices issued directing them to submit the certificates indicating the hoardings are safely secured; several ad agencies have been seeking renewal of their annual licences when the issue came out into the open.

“Many agencies including reputed ones have failed to submit the certificates and also pay requisite advertisement fees. We have already started removing them,” says Additional Commissioner (Advertisements, Traffic & Transportation) S. Subba Rao. And it was only when officials started removing advertisements put up on hoardings that the agencies have been scurrying to pay the ad fees and submit certificates.

Fee payments are yet to be made for as many as 500 hoardings in the core city and in the suburbs.

The department has also issued notices to agencies to stick to the permitted sizes of 25 ft ht & 50 ft width or face blacklisting along with the permits being cancelled.

Advertisement Identification Numbers (AIN) have been generated for all the hoardings and the agencies have been directed to inscribe the number on each of the hoardings owned by them. During an identification exercise, officials have also encountered several illegal hoardings that have come up without any permit and Mr. Rao estimates the figure to be at least 1,000 once the ongoing survey is completed! Agencies owning such hoardings will be asked to pay fees and seek AIN or face the prospect of being removed.

“We have decided on August15 as the deadline for all agencies involved in putting up hoardings to adhere to the rules or face action,” he said. Agencies putting up lollipops on the road medians too have been told to stick to the regulations specified on the distance to be maintained between two structures so that it does not affect visibility to traffic.

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