Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) new Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar, who took charge on Wednesday, said the BBMP Advertisement Rules, 2019, drafted by the Urban Development Department, and the BBMP Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging By-laws, 2018, were mutually exclusive.
While the bylaws framed by BBMP put a blanket ban on all hoardings in the city, the rules framed by UDD made allowances.
Speaking to reporters after assuming charge, he said the rules and bylaws were different and clarified that the former were more comprehensive. “There is no contradiction, even though the bylaws have been deemed approved,” he said.
According to Mr. Kumar, the rules framed by the government will prevail over the bylaws framed by the BBMP. “The civic body and UDD will wait for the Karnataka High Court’s decision on the issue and we are hopeful of the rules being finalised within a month’s time,” he said.
The civic body, in August 2018, passed a resolution banning all commercial hoardings, banners, posters, buntings etc for a period of one year. The draft rules were notified last month and objections were invited. “We have received objections to the draft rules. Apart from looking at the objections received, we will also look at best practices that were in the BBMP’s 2006 advertisement by-laws, such as zoning restrictions. The zoning regulations are currently not included in the draft rules,” he said.
In the past, BBMP councillors, cutting across party lines, had objected to the draft rules. During a special meeting convened to discuss the issue, they questioned how the government could frame the rules when the civic body had already framed bylaws.
He conceded that there was no regulation for hoardings in the city until now. “We need to regulate hoardings and ensure it does not affect city’s aesthetics, apart from ensuring it is in public interest as well. We will also incorporate zoning, as we cannot have huge hoardings in the heart of the city,” he said. and added that even the LED screens can be hazardous to motorists.
Big hoardings also posed a danger to life and property. “There have been instances when these hoardings have collapsed due to wind. Fortunately, there have been no casualties due to such incidents,” Mr. Kumar said and added that the civic body and the UDD will take into account all these aspects before finalising on the rules.