B’luru: Hotel vandalized for no Kannada Signage

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The manager of ‘The Capitol’ informed that the attack on hotel is the second onslaught in two weeks.

Neetu Saini

To assert the importance of Kannada on sign boards, an anonymous group of allegedly pro-Kannada activists dismantled the English sign board of ‘The Capitol’ hotel located on Raj Bhavan Road, near Cubbon Park on Sunday.

Hotel security manager informed that the activists, soon after barging into the premises, started vandalizing the board on which the hotel’s name was written. Before the security could take any action, they fled.

The manager informed that the attack on hotel is the second in two weeks. But no complaint has been filed against the vandals by the owners and authorities of the hotel.

“Although we are aware of the mandate to put a Kannada language sign board, we didn’t receive any prior notice from BBMP. Otherwise we wouldn’t have delayed the process of installing the signboard,” said Sonal Ghosh, front office manager of The Capitol hotel.

On the other hand, Muralidhar, the secretary of Karnataka Development Authority said that everyone should respect the land on which they conduct their business. “It’s unfortunate. The activists must not take law in their hand by dismantling the sign boards. And the traders shouldn’t expect the local authority to remind them of the 60:40 ratio rule. It should come from within as these traders are working with Kannidigas.” 

“KDA have informed everyone time and again about the rules and regulations through press release and media. So, if BBMP hasn’t issued any notice to some establishments that doesn’t mean they can avoid following the law,” added Muralidhar.

In a bid to enforce Kannada language, the Kannada Development Authority (KDA) for years has been trying to reinforce the 60:40 ratios on sign boards. The rule says that 60 per cent of the signage on boards should be in Kannada while the rest can be in any secondary language.

Last year in August, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) approved a draft ‘Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging Bye-law 2018’, to establish a comprehensive system that governs the display, design etc. The rule mandated all commercial establishments to have 60 per cent Kannada signage on their signboards by November 1, 2019. Failure to abide by the law could result in their trade licenses being cancelled by the BBMP.  

In 2018, the BBMP undertook a drive in which notices were issued to 3,681 commercial establishments for not having signboards in Kannada language. In the drive, almost 500 such boards were dismantled. The crackdown on traders drew a lot of criticism from many shopkeepers.

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