Advertisement hoardings are likely to make a comeback in the city, which was bereft of them for nearly three years.
The Urban Development Department (UDD) has issued a notification on the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Advertisement Rules, 2019 allowing advertisement hoardings under sections of the BBMP Act, 2020.
According to the notification issued on Tuesday, a copy of which is with The Hindu, the State government is of the opinion that the earlier BBMP Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging Byelaws, 2018, was not adequate for the purpose of regulating the outdoor advertisements. The notification also adds that these rules will come into effect notwithstanding the BBMP Outdoor Advertisement and Public Message Byelaws, 2018, or the earlier Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Advertisement Byelaws, 2006.)
Confirming the development, UDD’s Additional Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh told The Hindu that the decision was taken as the civic body was losing out on a lot of revenue with hoardings not being allowed in the city. Several rounds of deliberations had been held with stakeholders before arriving at the decision to allow the hoardings, he said.
He added that the High Court of Karnataka had, on several occasions, come down heavily on the “erratic hoardings and materials used”. “The new rules have specified the protocol to be followed for permission, regulating the size of hoardings and materials used, which was missing in the earlier rules. With this, we will be able to ensure that the city’s aesthetics are not affected, apart from garnering revenue out of it,” he said.
It was in August 2018 that the BBMP Council had passed a resolution banning all forms of advertisement hoardings for one year. This, however, was only after the High Court of Karnataka took the civic body to task over the mushrooming of illegal advertisement hoardings across the city.
Nearly a year later, the UDD published the draft BBMP Advertisement Rules, 2019 in an attempt to bring back hoardings. The civic body, once again, passed a resolution opposing the draft rules. Meanwhile, the court is still hearing a PIL petition on advertisement hoardings and has time and again directed the BBMP to clear the huge skeletal structures of hoardings that still dot the cityscape.
RTI activist Saidutta, who has filed the PIL in the high court, has alleged that “advertisement mafia and corrupt civic officials” were responsible for the development. “It is also unfortunate that the BJP, which had in its election manifesto stated that it was against hoardings, is responsible for its coming back,” he said, adding that he would challenge this legally.
No Advertisement areas:
· Kumara Krupa Road (Windsor Manor Junction to Shivananda Circle)
· Raj Bhavan Road (High Grounds to Minsk Square)
· Sankey Road (High Grounds to Windsor Yield Signal)
· Ambedkar Veedhi (K.R. Circle to Infantry Road Junction)
· Post Office Road (K.R. Circle to SBI Circle – K.G. Road)
· Chalukya Circle
· Maharani College Road/ Sheshadri Road
· K.R. Circle
· Environs of Cubbon Park and Lalbagh
· Nrupatunga Road (K.R. Circle to Police Corner junction)
· Palace Road (SBI Circle to Chalukya Circle)
· Within 50 metres from religious places on roads, and 100 metres from roads leading exclusively to religious places
· World Heritage areas, national parks, forests, water bodies, and areas classified as remnant endangered regional ecosystems
Advertisements on public infrastructure:
· BMRCL’s piers, viaducts, outside stations and depots
· BMTC’s Travel and Transit Management Centres
· Bus shelters
· Foot over bridges/ skywalks
· Public toilets/ e-toilets
· Electric vehicle charging stations, traffic police chowki
· Any other PPP project creating public infrastructure