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Shops, firms without 60% Kannada on nameboards to be sealed, shut down today

The BBMP has identified 3,044 establishments that have yet to comply.
Last Updated 29 February 2024, 01:46 IST

Bengaluru: Starting today, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will seal and shut down shops and establishments that do not allocate 60% of the space on their nameboards to Kannada. Despite requests from traders for an extension, the civic body has adhered to its original order, which was first announced last December.

This requirement applies to all commercial establishments, including industries, enterprises, trusts, hospitals, recreation centers, and hotels. The BBMP has identified 3,044 establishments that have yet to comply.

The state government notified the Kannada Language Comprehensive Development (Amendment) Act of 2024 on February 26, after it was passed in both the assembly and the council. The Act mandates that establishments ensure their nameboards display 60% of their content in Kannada, prominently placed in the upper half of the nameboard.

Before the Act was notified, the BBMP had announced the requirement for 60% Kannada space on nameboards last December, setting February 28 as the deadline.

The authority to close down establishments has been granted to the BBMP’s health department. Under the Act, the BBMP has the power to cancel trade licenses. Although the Act permits the imposition of fines, the Directorate of Kannada and Culture may need a few more days to finalize the rules.

In the meantime, traders have sought an extension from the BBMP, but the civic body has not provided any leniency. The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) has written to the state government, urging that the 60% Kannada rule be enforced without resorting to force or violence.

Some traders have requested additional time, citing a shortage of skilled manpower for creating nameboards. They argue that the BBMP set a two-month deadline without assessing the availability of nameboard suppliers.

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(Published 29 February 2024, 01:46 IST)

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