Posters raise their ugly head once again in Kolar

Banners and posters have raise their ugly head across Kolar once again. The menace has become so ubiquitous that the buildings of government offices and schools and colleges too have not been spared of posters.

The banners and flex boards of some politicians wising their supporters on Sankranthi festival have come up across the town. The posters of cinemas pasted at public places have added to defacement of the town. The supporters of politicians have put up flex boards and buntings as if they are competing with their rivals.

The city municipality has set a target for collecting Rs 5 lakh as advertisement tax. However, private individuals and organisations have been cheating the local body by putting up banners without obtaining permission from the authorities concerned. As a result, the municipality is losing lakhs of rupees in the form of advertisement tax.

According to Section 133 of Karnataka Municipalities Act, 1964, any individual or organisation, before putting up any advertisement of any sort, should obtain permission from the municipality. The fee for the said advertisement material will be fixed based on its dimension.

This fee is a source of revenue for the local body. According to official sources, the total number of flex boards/banners erected in the town after obtaining permission from the municipality is around 150. However, the actual number of flex boards/banners put up across the town is at least 10 times more than this.

The menace of posters on the buildings of schools and colleges has crossed the limit. Citizens have submitted several memorandum to the  municipality seeking to remove the posters. However, there had been action from the authorities concerned till now.

Putting up banners and flex boards without obtaining the permission of the local authority is a punishable offence under the Prevention of Defacement of Public Property Act, 1981. Section 3 of this Act prescribes six months’ imprisonment or a fine of Rs 1,000 for the said offence.

There is also a provision for removing these posters. However, the officials of the municipality have failed in enforcing this law. Flex boards and banners and other unauthorised advertisement materials have not been removed due to the opposition by organisations and political pressure. This has also effected the revenue mobilisation.

Kalyan, a resident, said that obscene posters had become rampant in the town. He said that no steps had been taken to control putting up unauthorised flex boards and advertisement hoardings.

Giri, another resident, said that the supporters of politicians deface the town on any given opportunity, apparently for publicity. Any number of complaints to the municipal authorities has not been of any use, he rued.

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