New ad bylaws allowing hoardings in Bengaluru to be revoked

Updated - November 22, 2021 09:42 pm IST

Published - August 27, 2021 01:11 am IST - Bengaluru

Hoardings have been the centre of great debate in the city, with activists and citizen groups alleging that the government was trying to bring them back.

Hoardings have been the centre of great debate in the city, with activists and citizen groups alleging that the government was trying to bring them back.

 

The State government has made it clear that commercial hoardings will not make a comeback in Bengaluru and has decided to revoke the new ad bylaws that were set to pave the way for their return. This comes less than a month after the Urban Development Department issued a notification on the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Advertisement Rules, 2019, allowing advertisement hoardings under sections of the new BBMP Act, 2020.

The decision to revoke the notification was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai earlier this month to review development works taken up in the city. Hoardings were discussed in much detail during the meeting, following which it was resolved to revoke the new bylaws and instead implement the BBMP Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging Bylaws, 2018.

Sources privy to the development said city Ministers who were part of the meeting had expressed their concern over the hoardings ruining Bengaluru’s aesthetics. The new bylaws, they pointed out, seemed to favour the advertisement mafia, while revenue to the civic body was also questionable. Sources added that a proposal to revoke the notification allowing advertisement hoardings was being prepared and would be submitted to the State government for approval shortly.

Hoardings have been the centre of great debate in the city, with activists and citizen groups alleging that the government was trying to bring them back. In 2018, the BBMP Council passed a resolution banning advertisement hoardings for a year, but that was only after the High Court of Karnataka came down heavily on the civic body. Nearly a year later, the Urban Development Department published the draft BBMP Advertisement Rules, 2019, in an attempt to bring back hoardings. Following this, the civic body passed a resolution opposing the draft rules. However, the term of the council ended on September 10, 2020.

 

 

Earlier this year, the previous government, headed by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, accorded permission to the bylaws and issued a notification on July 26. Incidentally, this was just a few days before Mr. Yeddiyurappa stepped down as Chief Minister. The move had taken many, even those within the BJP, by surprise as the party, in its election manifesto, had supported the ban on hoardings. The court is still hearing a PIL petition on advertisement hoardings.

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