Aloysius Xavier Lopez
CHENNAI: Just one-and-a-half years after the ban on hoardings in the city, wall painting is quietly emerging as a new mode of outdoor advertising in the city, despite the Chennai Corporation’s attempts to curb the trend.
Over 4,000 hoardings were removed in the city last year, after the Supreme Court upheld the Madras High Court’s ban on unauthorised hoardings.
However, many buildings in the city have begun sporting wall paintings, including the sticking of vinyl sheets for advertisement purposes.
These advertisements have dimensions similar to those of the hoardings which were erected in the city earlier.
The Chennai Corporation has not given permission for the wall paintings.
An official of the civic body said it was taking action against those responsible for unauthorised wall paintings in the city, if brought to its notice.
Mayor M. Subramanian said the civic body would seek to regulate such modes of advertisements with clear guidelines shortly.
“The rules relating to hoardings do not apply to wall paintings as a mode of advertisement in the city,” said A. G. Nayakam, Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Outdoor Advertising Association.
Wall painting as an advertisement option is effective in the absence of hoardings in the city and many such advertisements are being made now and Vinyl sheets priced as low as Rs.5 per sq.ft. are an affordable option for advertisers, he said.
According to the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act 1919, wall paintings as a mode of advertisement have to be used with the permission of the Chennai Corporation, said Mr. Nayakam.
“Many are jobless following the ban on hoardings in the city. Wall painting was one of the ways for them to make a living,” said another source in the advertisement industry, who did not wish to be named.