The draft was tabled at the general meeting on January 31

It has been five months but the Mangalore City Corporation is yet to take any decision with regard to the draft advertisement policy, it has neither approved it nor rejected it.

The draft policy was tabled at the general meeting of the council on January 31, 2011. Without any discussion, the council referred it to the Standing Committee for Taxation, Finance, and Appeals for scrutiny.

Sources in the corporation told The Hindu that even after five months, the standing committee was to finalise the draft policy. If the draft was to be approved it had to be placed before the council again for its approval following the scrutiny by the committee.

Speaking to The Hindu on Wednesday, chairman of the committee Sharat Kumar said he was not aware of the policy being referred to the committee. He said he took charge in March and since then the subject had not been discussed about. Mr. Kumar said that he would look into the matter.

However, a Revenue Department official at the civic body said the subject was discussed in a previous meeting of the committee. But the committee did not finalise it, the official said.

Whip in the council Sudhir Shetty Kannur said he did not know much about it. He said he would look into it.

Leader of the Opposition in the council Ashok Kumar D. K. said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had held up the draft policy purposefully. It was due to “selfish” motive of some councillors in the ruling party.

Unauthorised hoardings

Mr. Kumar said some councillors had colluded with officials and allowed some unauthorised advertisement hoardings in the city. They were earning favours from it. If a transparent policy was implemented, it would come in the way of their interests.

Meanwhile, the draft policy tabled in January meeting had proposed banning cut outs in its jurisdiction. It had listed out 16 guidelines in the policy.

According to the draft, those advertising agencies which were permitted to display hoardings would have to mention the name of the advertising agency, licence number with the date and year of licence issued on it clearly.

The guidelines mentioned in the policy were applicable to banners, buntings, and sign boards.

The draft said if any advertisement was displayed on any private property without the permission of the civic body, owners of those properties and buildings would be held responsible for removing them and they would be fined.

It said there would be only one licence number for one hoarding. If that licence number was misused by displaying it on any other hoardings (which would mean illegal), all those hoardings, including the original one, would be removed.

The civic body would collect double the amount of licence fee and cess from such advertising agencies which display them, as fine.

The draft had proposed a ban on pasting posters, and displaying banners on electric poles in medians. If violated, Rs. 200 should be collected as fine per poster or banner.

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