BBMP resolves to remove all illegal hoardings in City

525 billboards will be taken off first ; Palike not to spend a dime on the work

BBMP resolves to remove  all illegal hoardings in City

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council on Monday passed a resolution to remove all illegal hoardings in the City. The Palike, however, said it would not bear any expenses in this regard.

Corporators from all political parties opposed a resolution moved by Ashwath Narayan, the ruling party leader in the Council, to postpone a decision on illegal hoardings. They urged Mayor B S Satyanarayana to pass the resolution.

The Additional Commissioner of Finance, K Kiran, then told the Council that there was a direction from the State government not to renew 525 hoardings, which could thus be removed.

At this juncture, Satyanarayana suggested that an outside agency could remove the hoardings. Sunkenahalli Corporator P N Sadashiva, however, objected to the proposal, saying the Palike should not spend a dime on removing hoardings which were put up illegally in the first place.

The money should instead be collected from those who have erected them. “Are we blacklisting the advertisers for violating the norms? How are we going to collect the penalty from them,” he wondered.

As the debate moved on, Attiguppe Corporator K Doddanna claimed that as many as 2,000 illegal hoardings were illegal in the City, which also should be removed. Taking part in the debate, Nagapura Corporator S Harish cited the example of an advertiser seeking permission to set up 500 flowerpots on electricity poles but while doing so, he erected advertisement boards too.

A police complaint was filed against the advertiser in April 2013, and a case of cheating booked but the BBMP regularised the advertisements in November by collecting Rs 72 lakh.

Two hoardings in front of the BBMP’s West Zone office had been erected on a stormwater drain but the officials turned a blind eye, Harish alleged. He also claimed that the advertiser had sought permission in February 2013, but the application was not processed deliberately for four months so that it could be perceived as deemed permission.

The Mayor also sought an explanation from the West Zone commissioner but was unsatisfied by the reply. He then directed the BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana to initiate action against the  official in question.

Lakshminarayana assured that penalty would be imposed and an undertaking sought from the defaulter firms not to repeat the act. Corporators, however, remained displeased. They insisted that illegal hoardings be removed. Accordingly, the resolution was passed.

Mayor Satyanarayana told the Council that a team of architectural students from California will study ways to improve the chaotic Richmond Circle. The students witnessed the proceedings of the meeting.

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