The promise of a new ad policy, new set of bye-laws

The promise of a new ad policy, new set of bye-laws

The BBMP is removing the hoardings structure on Ballery road in Bengaluru on Friday. Photo/ B H Shivakumar

Can the new advertisement policy approved recently by the Bruhath Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) put a dramatic end to the menace of illegal hoardings? On paper, the policy with its new set of bye-laws completely bans all illegal commercial billboards and hoardings in the city.

The Palike has invited objections through a public notification of the new ‘Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging Byelaws, 2018.’ The BBMP Advertising Bye-Laws, 2006, which notoriously failed to control the menace, is now history. Based on the objections received, the state government will finally decide on notifying the new ad policy.

The new law is clear that no commercial hoardings will be allowed anywhere in the territorial jurisdiction of BBMP. However, certain special areas earmarked by the government and BBMP could be designated for exemption.

For instance, pedestrian-only shopping streets, and high-value landmark centres where commercial hoardings are deemed to enhance the experience of the public space. However, the new law is clear that such exemptions will have to be evaluated, approved and regulated by a review committee appointed for that specific purpose.

The new law places the city’s BBMP area into four advertising zones, A, B, C and D. Zone A will have no hoardings, not even neons. Areas that come under this exclusive zone include Cubbon Park, Lalbagh, Rajbhavan Road, Ambedkar Veedhi, Post Office Road, Chalukya Circle, Maharani College Road, K R Circle, Nrupatunga Road, Palace Road and Kumara Krupa Road.