BENGALURU: Newly-appointed Mayor M Goutham Kumar on Wednesday said that no trade licence will be given if the commercial establishments do not put up name boards in Kannada. This comes probably to send a strong message to those who called Kumar a non-Kannadiga.
He said, “The final decision will however be taken by the council. Boards should have names prominently written in Kannada. The aim to ensure that it is implemented from November 1 (Karnataka Rajyotsava). Trade licences will be renewed and issued only when prominence is given to Kannada.”
BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar said there was no precondition for trade licences. But as per building bylaws, Kannada display should be 60% of the boards that are put up outside commercial establishments.
BBMP officials present at the meeting said the matter was also being discussed with experts on how to make stipulations in the Trade Licences Act. At the meeting, the Mayor was also made aware of the case filed in Karnataka High Court against the BBMP in 2017 when the proposal was first mooted. In 2017, based on the suggestion of Kannada Development Authority (KDA), BBMP had announced that boards of all commercial establishments should prominently display the names in Kannada. Since no amendment to the Act was made, many commercial establishments moved the court against BBMP.
An official explained, “Now, BBMP is taking all legal measures to ensure that there are no such incidents. This is taking a cue from Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, where prominence is given to local languages. KDA had also suggested that online forms be also filled in Kannada. But that is a daunting task as the software is not in Kannada and the tech companies will have to switch the language.”
KDA Chairman Siddaramaiah welcomed the decision.