BMC launches drive against illegal billboards

Staff Reporter
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The corporation staff start the process of demolition in the city

CRACKING THE WHIP:Hoardings are being removed near the old bus stand in Berhampur on Sunday.— PHOTO: LINGARAJ PANDA
CRACKING THE WHIP:Hoardings are being removed near the old bus stand in Berhampur on Sunday.— PHOTO: LINGARAJ PANDA

The Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC), with the help of the police, on Sunday started demolishing billboards erected ‘illegally’ by an advertising agency all around the city.

Large billboards and the metal frames for it were destroyed by the authorities at old bus stand, corporation road, Gandhi Nagar, Khallikote autonomous college square and other areas.

According to the BMC sources, the demolition process to remove the illegally placed billboards would continue.

Speaking to The Hindu , BMC Commissioner Ajot Mishra said it was an irony that the advertisement firm that had put up these billboards throughout the city had not paid anything as licence fee to the BMC.

According to Mr. Mishra, the advertising firm had paid only Rs. 9 lakh four years ago to the BMC and had taken permission to put up advertisement billboards within the city limits. But, during the subsequent years the company did not pay any licence fee to the BMC.

When the BMC, to augment its income, came out with a tender for billboards within the city limits, owners of the same erring advertising firm applied in the name of another firm to become the highest bidder to take the contract. Although the firm agreed to pay Rs. 60 lakh as the licence fee to the BMC as per its furnished tender papers, the firm never deposited the fee with the BMC. It was heard that the company was planning to approach the court of law also.

Ties snapped

Meanwhile, the BMC authorities have blacklisted the company and have decided to snap all ties with it. At a meeting of the BMC, a resolution was also made against the company and it was decided to demolish all its illegally erected billboards. The district administration had also ordered for removal of most of these billboards as they were put in dangerous condition on the side of busy roads.

The BMC Commissioner said most of the billboards and their metal structure were in a precarious condition and may cause accidents. He also advised all owners of buildings where billboards have been put up to take permission and approval from the BMC and the Berhampur Development Authority (BDA). “They would also have to furnish safety certificates and pay licence fee for advertising to the BMC,” he added.

  • The demolition exercise will continue, say BMC sources

  • Most of the billboards are in a precarious condition: Municipal Commissioner

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