BENGALURU: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) council on Tuesday passed a new advertisement policy and draft by-laws forbidding commercial boards or hoardings anywhere except on bus shelters, skywalks and public toilets built on public-private partnership. No advertisements promoting individual products will be allowed on name boards of shops or commercial establishments. Exceptions have also been made for public welfare messages and publicising government schemes.
The council decided not to change the new advertisement policy passed on Tuesday, but is open to modifying the draft by-laws after submitting the policy to the state government. One month’s time has been set aside for the public/agencies to raise objections. The policy will be submitted to the High Court during the next hearing on August 31, after which it will be sent to the state government for approval.
The complete ban on all types of advertisement structures for a period of one year will continue to be enforced.
Earlier, the court had rapped the civic body over delays in formulating the new policy. The approval for the new advertisement policy found support from councillors across party lines.
The BBMP has specified in detail the types of permitted and prohibited structures and has also provided an option for illegal structures to be made legal. In addition, illegal structures which are not removed or corrected within 30 days of the civic body issuing a notice will be removed by the BBMP at the property owner’s expense.
Opposition leader Padmanabha Reddy raised a few objections to the policy, advocating that advertisements on BBMP shelters and skywalks should also be prohibited. The policy outlines a thorough application process for approval of advertisement structures. An advertisement committee will also be constituted to review orders passed by the approving authority.
As per provisions of the new policy, a non-conforming advertisement structure can be brought to conformity with the policy if it is altered.
WHAT IS banned
■ New policy prohibits signage on telecommunication towers
■ Signs interfering with traffic or motoring instructions
■ All hoardings against the public right of way
■ Flashing or animated signs, except permitted ones
In addition, in a move similar to the ‘Akrama Sakrama’ scheme for regularisation of unauthorised constructions, if an existing advertisement is in excess of the requirement of setback, height and size of no more than 10%, it will be deemed as conforming.
Only one freestanding sign is permitted per street facing any property. Freestanding signs must provide landscaping in the ratio of 2.5 times the surface area of the sign. The planting must be perennial and must be maintained.
Any sign that constitutes a traffic hazard is prohibited, including signs illuminated in red, green or amber colour that could resemble a traffic signal. Additionally, use of words that could confuse motorists, such as ‘stop’, ‘look’, ‘danger’, ‘detour’ among others are also prohibited. However, temporary festival decorations have been permitted.
M K Gunashekar, councillor and former chairman of the Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance, said the policy was prepared based on the guidelines that the Supreme Court had given to the Delhi Municipal Corporation. “The main objectives of the policy are to not compromise on the city’s aesthetics, not to cause issues for movement of public, and to only allow structures in commercial areas and to give importance to digital ads,” he said.