BENGALURU: The High Court had ordered the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to conduct a survey on the materials used in advertising at bus stops, skywalks and public toilets built under Public, Private Partnership (PPP). This was done to learn their numbers and also if the materials being used were bio-degradable or not. An expert, who was involved in the production of flex material, stated that plastic was present in the materials currently being used.
City environmentalists are questioning why the BBMP has not provided clear guidelines despite advertisements having been given designated spaces. “No advertisements should be put up without clearances. It is illegal and the BBMP should get consent from the ward committees,” said Leo Saldhana, environmentalist. “Instead of these boards, why not get artists involved and beautify the city?” Leo questioned.
“Without clear guidance, this will become a problem,” said another environmentalist, Yellappa Reddy. In some areas, such as Halasuru and Kamaraj Road, an MLA's advertisements have been put up, to which Yellappa responded saying that they should be held accountable for violating the law under the Environment Protection Act. “Biodegradable products such as jute and bamboo should be used and promoted as they are degradable,” he said.
BBMP corporator of Halasuru, Sarvana, said that the MLA had taken permission from the commissioner. He added that the advertisements are not flex material, but whether it contains plastic should be taken up with authorities. However, BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad was unable to comment on the issue.
Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun said that post the HC's intervention, it is the state government’s decision. When asked about the MLA’s poster, she said that she was unaware of the incident, and will get BBMP officials to look into the matter.
The MLA responsible for the advertising was also unavailable for comment.