‘New ad policy may not be applicable to Bengaluru’

For nearly two years now, the BBMP has been working on drafting a new advertisement policy.   | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

The civic body, which was spurred into acting against illegal / unauthorised hoardings, flex, posters and banners after the Karnataka High Court took strong objection, has now prepared a draft advertisement policy to be submitted to the court. This comes after the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) decided to ban such material for a period of one year.

However, councillors, mainly those from the opposition BJP, claim that the policy is just a rehash of New Delhi’s advertisement policy.

For nearly two years now, the BBMP has been working on drafting a new advertisement policy. It was first announced as part of the 2015-16 budget and a committee was formed to discuss and debate on the policy. However, since then, the committee has met only twice, said several members.

The objective of the policy is to ensure that hoardings, posters, flex and banners don’t impact the city’s aesthetics or cause accidents. This, officials say, is in line with the Supreme Court’s directions to New Delhi. “We have taken New Delhi’s policy as a model, as it has been approved by the Supreme Court,” an official said.

However, many councillors, including a few from the ruling Congress, say that the policy may not really be compatible to Bengaluru.

‘New ad policy may not be applicable to Bengaluru’

“New Delhi’s roads are wider compared to those in the city. That apart, most of the hoardings in Delhi are on land owned either by the Centre, State government or the corporation. It is different here, where nearly 90% are on private properties,” said Padmanabha Reddy, Opposition Leader.

Sai Datta, social activist, said that reports submitted to the government by former Assistant Commissioner (Advertisements) K. Mathai had shown that the civic body was bleeding dry. “This is a ₹5,000-crore scam. The BBMP would have not taken any action had the High Court not taken serious objection,” he said and pointed out to the futility of the exercise of finalising the draft advertisement policy when the council had passed a resolution to ban all hoardings, flexes and other forms for one year.

BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad informed the council on Tuesday that the civic body had so far removed 21,400 flexes and 223 FIRs had been registered against offenders. That apart, the Palike has removed 2,249 wall writings. The BBMP has now tied up with Ugly Indians, a civic group, to ensure that there is no graffiti on walls.

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Printable version | Oct 31, 2020 8:12:39 AM |

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