Will bring in policy to check illegal hoardings, CM says

Will bring in policy to check illegal hoardings, CM says

The government would bring in a policy to check illegal flex boards and banners in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told the Legislative Council on Thursday.

The chief minister stated that the government would start a drive to remove illegal flex boards and banners. During the question hour, the BJP’s Y A Narayanaswamy asked him what was the government doing to crack down on the mafia behind the illegal business.
As the mafia thrives, the BBMP is losing Rs 300 crore a year by way of advertisement revenue, he suggested. The chief minister acknowledged that this was the case.

“A mafia is at work here. If a single board is removed or notice is served, they go to court and get a stay. We will bring in a policy by amending the law. We are consulting the experts in this regard,” Siddaramaiah said.

Pointing to the chief minister’s reply that the BBMP’s is earning just Rs 30-35 crore as advertisement revenue, Narayanaswamy suggested that officials were hand in glove with contractors. “If the Kempegowda International Airport can earn Rs 200 crore from hoardings and advertisements displayed within 2,000 acres of its premises, how come the BBMP earns just Rs 30 crore,” he demanded.

As per the Palike’s records, there are just 1,156 illegal flex boards and banners in the City, with the Mahadevapura division having the most of them (522). The BBMP commissioner issued a circular on December 12, 2014, warning of disciplinary action against officers who delay cracking down on illegal hoardings and criminal prosecution of bureaucrats who fail to remove them.

Narayanaswamy, however, disputed the figure, saying there were 21,000 illegal hoardings in Bengaluru. He suggested that the BBMP was “misleading” the chief minister.

“You are not as tough as before. BBMP officials have given you incorrect information,” he said. The MLC urged the government to either remove or regularise illegal hoardings and banners.

In his reply, Siddaramaiah said every reform began only after a sorry state of affairs and assured that a solution to the problem would be found before long.

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