BBMP talks big, but myopic about giant ad at doorstep

BBMP talks big, but myopic about giant ad at doorstep

Palike claims its advertisement policy is transparent, but Mathai report says otherwise

BBMP talks big, but myopic about giant ad at doorstep

Against the backdrop of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Karnataka High Court about mushrooming of illegal hoardings, flexes, advertisement billboards across the City, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike claimed in its advertisement to the newspapers that 'objectivity, fairness and transparency rule BBMP's advertisement policy'.

The advertisement, issued by the Palike, contradicts the BBMP Assistant Commissioner K Mathai's report which stated that the Palike had incurred losses to the tune of Rs 4,000 crore due to the illegal hoardings, billboards and flexes.

PIL in High Court
The report further blamed several officials for their failure to stem the revenue loss because of unregulated advertising. Based on his report, a social activist Sai Datta filed the PIL in the Karnataka High Court.

The BBMP in its advertisement claimed that it has initiated multi-pronged action to stem the proliferation of illegal forms of advertisement.

It also stated that it will identify, remove, penalise and book cases on all illegal advertisers displaying advertisements on poles, bus shelters, skywalks and road medians.

The advertisement issued by the Palike further stated that Prahari vehicles are deployed for removal of illegal banners, buntings and other forms of advertising. It said that the advertisement rights for bus shelters, medians and BBMP hoardings etc are allocated through e-auctions. The first tenders will be rolled out this week. Even the business establishments are not spared. They will be made to shell out taxes if advertisements are put up in front of their shops or commercial establishment.

Palike has even claimed that the license tracking system is in place for all advertisement rights issued.

Advertisement rights issued will be on public domain, mapped to the road Geographical Information System and citizens can access all information.

Fence eating the crop
While the Palike claimed that it has deployed Prahari for the removal of illegal banners, buntings and other forms of advertisements, two big hoardings depicting the pictures of the Palike employees have been put up on the premises of BBMP head office.

Ironically, the hoarding has a picture of the advertisement section revenue inspector Amritraj.

A Palike official said that the two hoardings put up on BBMP office premises shows how serious is the Palike administration about removing the illegal hoardings, billboards, flexes and advertisements that are defacing the City's landscape.