It will help curb illegal hoardings, generate revenue

The State government has come out with draft model bye-laws to regulate erection and display of advertisement hoardings in gram panchayat limits with an aim to curb illegal display as well as generate revenue for rural local bodies.

The Karnataka Panchayat Raj (Gram Panchayat Control over Erection of Advertisements and Hoardings) (Model Bye-laws), 2012, make obtaining of licence mandatory for erection and display of advertisement hoardings in panchayat limits.

Though many panchayats had been collecting fee for allowing advertisement display, the process lacked stipulated framework and hence, the bye-laws, the government said.

These draft rules are framed under Section 316 read with Section 311 of the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act, 1993. While Section 311 empowers the government to make rules, Section 316 authorises the government to make model regulations and bye-laws that are to be adopted by panchayats.

The government can direct the panchayats to adopt these regulations and if they fail to adopt them, the government itself can enforce the regulations in such panchayat limits under Section 316.

Reacting to the draft rules, Janardhana S. Maravanthe, member of Maravanthe Gram Panchayat in Udupi district, told The Hindu that these rules provide clear framework for display of advertisement hoardings.

He said, “Panchayats had been collecting fee for display of advertisements through resolutions. However, there was no institutional framework.”

Stating that the rules could bring some revenue to panchayats, Mr. Maravanthe felt that panchayats having jurisdiction over busy highways stand to gain more revenue.

Tenders

The draft rules make it mandatory for panchayats to invite tenders for display of advertisement hoardings. Successful bidders have to erect the hoardings within 15 days of the award of the tender after getting the panchayat’s approval for the design and content of the hoarding, the rules said.

However, hoardings are not permitted near historic places, monuments, public parks, public conveniences, heavy traffic points, purely residential areas and places of worship.

Defining the size of hoardings, the rules state that the hoardings should not be more than 30 ft high from the ground level and they should not project beyond the general line of buildings or streets. While larger size advertisements should be erected horizontally, small ones could be erected vertically.

The draft rules also stipulate the annual tax payable to panchayats for erecting these hoardings. The tax rates range from Rs. 35 to Rs. 300 depending on the category, location and size of the hoardings.

Unauthorised hoardings can be directed to be removed by the panchayat. Failure to comply with this order attracts a fine of Rs. 500.