Special Correspondent

Regulatory policy to be put in place in Bangalore first, extended in phases

BBMP told not to issue fresh permits for advertisments

Steps sought to curb ‘advertisement mafia’

BANGALORE: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Thursday instructed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike not to issue fresh permits for putting up advertisements in any form, hoardings included, or renew existing permits until further orders.

Replying to a question by M. Srinivas (Congress) in the Legislative Council, Mr. Yeddyurappa announced that the Government would evolve a comprehensive advertisement regulatory policy.

The policy would earmark advertisement and advertisement-free zones and generate revenue for the Government. The policy would be enforced in all areas coming under the BBMP shortly. It would be implemented across the State in a phased manner, he said.

Responding to observations made by Leader of the Opposition Veeranna Mathikatti, M.C. Nanaiah (Janata Dal-Secular) and M.P. Nadagouda (Janata Dal-U), Mr. Yeddyurappa said the premises of the Karnataka High Court, the Vidhana Soudha, the Vikasa Soudha, the Legislators’ Home and the Karnataka Public Service Commission and others of equal public importance should be declared advertisement-free zones.

Ban sought

Mr. Nanaiah and others said that the practice of putting up hoardings in public places to greet all sorts of people, particularly political leaders, on their birthday should be banned for the sake of public decency.

V.S. Ugrappa (Congress) said that according to a written reply provided by the Government, the BBMP collected Rs. 12.78 lakh as advertisement tax for 38 hoardings as on June 30, 2008. However, he, being a practising lawyer, recently drafted an agreement for his client to put up a hoarding on five guntas of land on Airport Road for a monthly rental of Rs. 4.80 lakh. There were instances in which private parties were earning Rs. 1 crore annually from small spaces given to advertisers on important roads such as Mahatma Gandhi Road, he added.

Nexus alleged

Abdul Azeem (JD-S) alleged that there was a nexus between 12 frontline advertisement dealers and BBMP officials.

Supported by many members, Mr. Azeem, a former police officer, said the Government should take effective measures to curb what he termed the advertisement mafia.