BENGALURU: If everything goes as per mayor G Padmavathi’s plan, the city will have 10,000 hoardings “authorised’’ by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to generate revenue.
It may be recalled that the High Court had observed that posters and hoardings dotting the city obstruct the view of drivers and increase the risk of accidents. Even the state government and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had announced making the city ‘hoarding-free’.
In fact, the BBMP Council had passed a resolution to ban hoardings in city limits last year (when the BJP was in power).
Padmavathi, who was speaking at a ‘Meet the Press’ event organised by the Press Club on Friday, said they have filed a caveat before the High Court against 1,600 hoardings and notices have been served to agencies against 5,000 illegal hoardings.
“We have plans to have our own hoardings in the city. BBMP properties can be identified and wherever it can be done, hoardings can be installed. All these years, private agencies were earning money. If we rent out hoardings, BBMP will get money. We can mobilise our own funds rather than depend on government funds,’’ she said.
A senior councillor, who did not wish to be identified, said many ad agencies in the city are indirectly owned by political leaders. “This idea of having 10,000 hoardings in the city will end up legalising illegal hoardings that are owned by these leaders,’’ he said.
Opposition leader in the BBMP Council, Padmanabha Reddy, said that last year, when he raised objection to advertising agencies who have put up advertisements in over 400 bus shelters without paying, BBMP had removed all those ads.
“They replaced it with advertisements about the state government and Siddaramaiah. For the last one year, state government ads are on bus shelters, but no revenue is generated for us. Similarly, there are 100 BBMP hoardings, which also have either Siddaramaiah or state government ads.
“The state government is neither giving us funds nor paying advertising revenue to us. If 10,000 hoardings are added, it will end up giving more space to government ads. BBMP will not benefit from such a move,’’ Reddy said.