Shop owners in Bengaluru want Kannada signboard rule deadline extended

BBMP had set a February 28 deadline for ensuring at least 60% Kannada usage on all signboards

January 31, 2024 09:54 pm | Updated February 01, 2024 07:05 am IST - Bengaluru

Signboards on S.P. Road in Benglauru. Traders say the deadline set by BBMP is unrealistic as the existing rule hasn’t been amended yet.

Signboards on S.P. Road in Benglauru. Traders say the deadline set by BBMP is unrealistic as the existing rule hasn’t been amended yet. | Photo Credit: file photo

Now that Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot has returned the Ordinance on the usage of Kannada on signboards, traders in the city have demanded that the civic body extend the February 28 deadline for the implementation of the Kannada signboard rule.

Earlier, the civic body had set a February 28 deadline for ensuring at least 60% Kannada usage on all signboards under the Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Act 2022. However, the Act does not specify 60%. So, in order to bring in that, an Ordinance was promulgated, which the Governor returned to the government advising that it be passed in the upcoming Assembly session.

In light of this development, shop owners have now demanded that the civic body scrap the February 28 deadline. Suhail Yusuf, secretary, Brigade Road Shops and Establishments Association, said the deadline looks unrealistic as the amendment as of now does not exist. “Without the specific rule, how can BBMP set a deadline?” he asked, adding that the civic body should wait for the law to be passed.

Arun Kumar of Malleshwaram Shop Owners Association said the association members will meet on Thursday. “In the meeting, we will take a call on further course of action and what we have to tell the BBMP about the new development.”

Another trader said the February 28 deadline was unrealistic even before this development. “Implementation of this rule leads to considerable financial drain on both big and small players. It cannot be forced through like this, and we had appealed for more time earlier, too,” he said.

However, a senior BBMP official said since the government was committed to implementing the rule, a Bill bringing in the said amendment will be passed in the upcoming Assembly session starting on February 12. He expressed confidence that the entire process would be completed within February 28. He advised commercial establishments to adhere to the 60:40 language rule in signboards at the earliest irrespective of the deadline, as “it was inevitable”.

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