Palike decides to cut its hoarding plan to size


BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta has asked officials to put on hold installation of all digital hoardings till the tender conditions are completely reviewed


The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has decided to review its tender conditions with regard to allowing large advertisement hoardings in exchange of building traffic police kiosks. Such a decision was taken a day after Bangalore Mirror reported that BBMP’s tender conditions are not in line with its own advertisement rules, notified by the state government last month.

In a letter written to BBMP’s traffic engineering cell (TEC), Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta directed officials to put on hold installation of digital hoardings till the tender conditions were completely reviewed. BBMP chief also stated that no new hoardings will be placed or advertisements on the existing hoardings will be allowed till the issue was resolved.

Bangalore Mirror, in an article titled ‘Massive Attack: Ad size does not matter to BBMP’, had reported that the civic body’s recent tender which called for the installation of 124 kiosks violates the advertisement rules, 2019. The rules state that no hoarding should be allowed on traffic islands or within a distance of 25 metres from the stop line. It also states that the hoarding should not be more than 25 per cent of the vertical structure of the PPP project (police kiosk).

The BBMP chief commissioner’s letter has also put the brakes on tenders that were awarded in 2018-19. The contractor Sign Post India Pvt Ltd, which won the tender to install over 350 police kiosks, had started placing large hoardings on traffic islands. Motorists were however not happy with digital hoardings coming on traffic island as they can easily distract the attention of motorists. They suggested these hoardings be shifted elsewhere.

Meanwhile, activist Sai Dutta wondered why should the BBMP give advertisement rights for 20 years when the cost of installing the police kiosks could be recovered by the advertiser in less than a year. “If the BBMP did not have money to build the kiosks, it could have given advertisement space on the kiosk itself. There was no need to allow a separate hoarding that looks much bigger than the kiosk itself,” he said.

When the tender was awarded to Sign Post, the BBMP had made it clear that the company will have to comply with the advertisement policy whenever they are notified. Citizens have been however up against the advertisement policy as large hoardings will soon start appearing along all roads in the city.

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