Illegal Hoardings to Go Soon: GHMC

In the last six months, civic body clears nearly 600 unauthorised hoardings

Hyderabad: With a new advertisement policy in place, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has started to crack the whip on unauthorised hoardings and advertisements across the city.

In the last six months, nearly 600 unauthorised hoardings and those with licenses that had expired were cleared. This is after the civic body identified 333 unauthorised hoardings across the city in 2018 and launched a special drive to clear these structures. As the Municipal Corporation lacked necessary equipment and manpower for the demolition, a private agency was hired to take up the demolition.

However, despite the drive, many unauthorised advertisement hoardings, which are resulting in huge loss of advertisement revenue for the municipal corporation, are still coming up. GHMC officials said there were only 2,600 authorised hoardings while the rest were illegal.

Depending on the areas and fee charged, hoardings are classified into four categories. Advertisement fee is one of the revenue sources for the municipal corporation with the corporation raking in about Rs 40 crore every year through annual fee and other means.

With the officials now deciding to focus on the remaining illegal hoardings, renewed efforts on to demolish all towering hoardings and advertisements across the city.

As per the new advertisement policy, permissions will be granted for advertisements elements below 15 feet from ground level. Regarding the existing elements, which are set up on buildings and exceeding 15 feet from the ground level and have completed the permission term, will be removed immediately.

Those, which still have the term period, will be removed soon after expiry of the period. More importantly, if any advertisement element is removed for any reason, no shifting permission will be accorded and the permission will be cancelled automatically. The new policy focuses on public safety and ensures increased revenue for the municipal corporation, besides de-cluttering advertisements and improving the ambiance. The State government had issued orders to this effect in April.

Accordingly, no new advertisement permissions are being issued by the municipal corporation. A majority of hoardings are therefore empty sans any advertisements.

In the past there have been instances, when hoardings collapsed resulting in injuries and property loss as well. This is despite after such structures being certified to be stable, officials explained. On the other hand, the new advertisement policy will also aid in increasing revenue. The advertisements will now be permitted at designated places like bus shelters and toilets and online data of such structures will be maintained, a senior official said.

New Rules

Advertisements with flashing lights or non-static illumination will be permitted only with Traffic Police, High Court clearance

Nameboards should be confined to 15 per cent of building front elevation

They should not obstruct natural flow of light or ventilation into buildings

Advertisements with moving, rotating or variable message device will not be permitted

Nameboards of commercial establishments should not exceed 10 feet in width and five feet in height

Use of flashing red, blue or amber point lights not be permitted in advertisements

At least 10 per cent of advertisements and 10 per cent of time period will be used for social messages

Advertisement elements structural stability certificate will be submitted every six months to ensure public safety

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