BBMP gets time till Aug 31 to remove banners

BBMP gets time till Aug 31 to remove banners

DH file photo.

The High Court of Karnataka has ordered the BBMP to restore Bengaluru to its original glory by the end of this month. 

Resuming the hearing of a PIL petition on illegal flex banners in the city, the court came down heavily on the civic body for failing to file an affidavit on the action it has taken to remove them. 

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari expressed disappointment over the vague affidavit filed by the BBMP commissioner about the plan of action and the action taken so far to remove flex banners. 

The affidavit stated that the geographical conditions of Bengaluru differ from those of other cities. "Although we have adopted features from the advertisement policies of other states, the same needs to be applied based on the matrix of Bengaluru city. I submit that the said exercise requires deliberation among all concerned departments of (the) state and active participation of experts in the field of advertisement, NGOs, residents, advertisement agency owners and all others who are directly or indirectly connected to (the) advertisement arena," the affidavit stated. 

The court orally observed that by making such vague statements, the BBMP was trying to shirk its responsibility. The court went on to note in the order that the submissions made in the affidavit were rather vague, uncertain and difficult to be appreciated. "With such suggestions, the process of making the policy is sought to be protracted and dragged for an indefinite length of time. We have disapproved (of) such an approach on the part of the BBMP." 

The court's observations prompted the BBMP counsel to submit he would take concrete instructions from the authorities and file a better affidavit with all the particulars. 

The court also orally observed that the civic body must improve its rating and the city's rating would improve automatically. At present, the BBMP does not have a good rating and appears to be non-functional and ineffective. It is the responsibility of the BBMP to change this image, the court said. 

The court also rejected the BBMP's request for time until September 5 for removing unauthorised advertisement structures. 

The court directed the BBMP counsel to issue a fresh advertisement by modifying the dates for submitting the permission obtained from BBMP officers by advertising agencies. The bench asked the BBMP to specify the e-mail addresses for the same. 

The hearing has been adjourned until August 17. 


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