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Signboard shops struggle to cope with huge demand following BBMP order

Ever since the order was passed in December, board artists in the city have been flooded with demands from shopkeepers and traders who are keen to abide by the law.
Last Updated 29 February 2024, 22:00 IST

Bengaluru: Name board manufacturers in Bengaluru are racing against time to meet the massive demand even as owners of commercial establishments struggle to comply with the BBMP order on allocating 60% space to Kannada on signages. 

Ever since the order was passed in December, board artists in the city have been flooded with demands from shopkeepers and traders who are keen to abide by the law.

While such a huge demand ideally means lucrative business for the board manufacturers, time constraints and logistical issues have slowed them down. 

Mohan Kumar C, proprietor of Mohan Arts, has stopped taking new orders as his hands are full. "I have been in the field since 1975 and have around 40,000 customers in the city. Fulfilling their demands itself is difficult and hence I am rejecting new orders," he said. 

Even though only a few thousand shops have renewed their signages after the order was passed, a large number of shops still need to replace theirs, Mohan added. 

Skilled work 

To prepare the signages, the workers require iron and ACP sheets. They attach a radium sticker on this sheet that lasts for years. With board-designing being a highly specialised craft, there are only a handful of experts. As a result, there is a limit to the number of signages they can manufacture per day. 

"We have only five to six workers to help in the process. Though hiring more men may help us complete more orders, we cannot employ them throughout the year, especially when the mad rush subsides. Thus, even that is not an option," said Naiz, who owns Suraj Arts near Avenue Road.

Manufacturers say the process is time-consuming and it takes a day to prepare boards with 8/3 feet dimensions. Mohan said the government should reconsider the deadline and give more time so that more traders can change the boards by then.

Traders in disarray

The lack of competent board artists means that most traders have yet to get their boards changed. Interestingly, the eagerness to change the boards has been seen more among non-Kannadiga traders, especially those from North India.

"We didn't know till today that 60-40 refers to bigger fonts for Kannada and smaller ones for English. We are also in the dark about whether the sub-headlines on the board have to be mentioned in both languages and with the same 60-40 proportion," said a trader who runs a bookshop near K R Market.

Also, there is some confusion around the placement of Kannada and English fonts. "Initially, they asked us to have signages with Kannada on the top and we complied with it. Now they have introduced the 60-40 rule. This is becoming inconvenient," a trader from Avenue Road said.

While a few traders have changed new boards that comply with the 60-40 rule, some of them have resorted to temporary boards in the form of banners to not attract fines and other penal actions. 

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(Published 29 February 2024, 22:00 IST)

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