Hoardings likely to make a comeback soon

The initiative is being taken by the State government despite objections by the BBMP

January 02, 2020 07:27 pm | Updated 07:27 pm IST

Civic Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar said a blanket ban on hoardings is not the right policy in a mega city like Bengaluru.

Civic Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar said a blanket ban on hoardings is not the right policy in a mega city like Bengaluru.

Hoardings, which are banned in the city, will in all likelihood make a comeback soon. The State government is all set to notify Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Advertisement Rules, 2019 to allow hoardings in a ‘regulated manner’, overruling the BBMP Outdoor Signages and Public Messaging Bylaws, 2018, that put a blanket ban. The notification will be issued in the next two weeks, sources said.

Mayor M. Gautam Kumar has written to the State government arguing that outdoor advertisement in the city is the domain of the civic body. The decision of the State government to go ahead with the BBMP Advertisement Rules, 2019 will have an impact on the autonomy of the civic body.

The note points out specific objections to the rules. “Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976 categorises hoardings as buildings. Hence, hoardings can come up only on buildings with an Occupancy Certificate. There is no mention of the same in the rules. Also, the rules stipulate a lesser fee for hoardings, which will hit revenue of the BBMP,” the note states.

“The BBMP council is unanimously opposed to allowing hoardings in the city. We will fight any attempt to overturn this decision,” he told The Hindu . “We request the State government to send the draft rules to the council. We will discuss the rules and take a call on the same,” he added.

However, civic Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar, who earlier headed the Urban Development Department, said a blanket ban on hoardings is not the right policy in a mega city like Bengaluru and moreover, Karnataka High Court has also given an order against a blanket ban. “The rules that will be notified by the State government, probably in a week, will allow hoardings. But it will be up to the BBMP council to regulate them in the city. Restrictions can be imposed banning hoardings in certain zones,” he said.

Sources in the civic body said the BBMP Advertisement Rules, 2019 is a policy decision taken by the State government, also led by the BJP, and will be implemented.

Manmohan Singh, Secretary, Outdoor Advertising Association, Bengaluru, said the outdoor advertising industry was badly hit by the blanket ban, which he termed ‘unfair’. “In a mega city like Bengaluru, hoardings cannot be banned, but commercial advertising needs to be regulated, which is being done through the BBMP Advertisement Rules, 2019,” he said.

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