Illegal banners, hoardings still avail in Sarjapur


Sarjapur Road houses  advertisement hoardings and banners despite the removal order from the Karnataka High Court.

Ritam Chatterjee

Despite the Karnataka High Court’s order asking the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to remove all illegal advertisement hoarding stands in the city last week, 32 advertisement banners and hoardings are still present between Sarjapur Bus stand and Wipro Gate Shikaripalya cross road.

Prashant Pandey, a local citizen, told The Softcopy, “We have sent multiple objections to BBMP since 2018 whenever these hoardings or banners were put up. But, no actions have been taken to date.”

On November 12, 2019, the Karnataka High Court also directed BBMP to submit a status report on the CID inquiry into the misappropriation of Rs 2,000 crore connected to advertising hoardings and flex.

Adrikshya K, the owner of ‘Hotel Starbell’, near the Sarjapur Road, said, “We can gather and remove those hoardings together. But if we do police may take action against us.”

 An article from last year states that public display of commercial or political hoardings, banners, and painting on the walls in non-designated areas of the city could invite a jail term as the BBMP Council approved their advertisement policy.

Manjunath Reddy, Sub-inspector of Sarjapur Police Station, said that no complaint has been filed by local citizens in the last two years regarding this matter. The locals contact the councilor to take steps in these cases.

In September 2018, the Karnataka High Court found that 212 more metal structures were put up illegally for displaying advertisements, and 107 have been removed voluntarily by the owners of such structures. MC Kaveri, Bellandur ward councilor who is in charge of that area, said, “Last March, we removed all the banners and hoardings which were on the road divider between the bus stand and Shikaripalya cross road. Some  boards were placedthere recently. As High Court has asked, we will remove them as fast as possible.”

Venkatesh S, Joint commissioner of Advertisement & Finance Department, BBMP, said, “we have already sent notices to all ward councilors in the city to submit the report of how many advertisement hoardings are still placed in their locality and remove those soon.”

Last year in September, BBMP registered cases against property owners who have failed to remove 1,880 hoardings, put up for displaying advertisements, despite issuance of individual notices for removal of the same.

Suresh Heblikar, chairman of Eco-Watch, said, “BBMP could earn a huge sum of money by collecting advertisement tax, but the High Court has not given that chance to them. As the traffic in Bengaluru is so high, removing advertisement hoardings and banners will hopefully cause fewer accidents because these things create distractions to the bike riders as well as the car-drivers. This is a very good initiative by the High Court and advertisement hoardings and banners that are still there must be removed immediately.”