THE BMC has come up with a new advertisement and sky signs policy, which is expected to pave the way for setting up digital hoardings and regulating banners across the city. Believed to boost the civic body’s revenue and give the city a new look, the policy is also expected to put curbs on illegal political hoardings. The BMC has published the policy on its website, inviting objections and suggestions from the residents within a month. Through this policy, BMC for the first time plans to regulate the size of photographs and the content that can be used in banners or hoardings. It is also working on doing away with illegal political banners and hoardings defacing properties.
“Though the policy is being framed, possibilities are being looked at to do away with the practice of party workers putting up gigantic photos of politicians, wishing them on various occasions. These were and will always remain illegal. However, for the first time, we will allow elected representatives to put up informative boards on development work in their constituencies, informing what fund is being used, the name of the contractor etc. Even in this, we will bring about uniformity in size,” said Nidhi Chaudhari, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Special).
As part of the proposed policy, the BMC plans to install CCTV cameras on top of the hoardings, connected with the BMC disaster management unit. The policy states that advertisers or permit holders will be given 10 per cent rebate if they install CCTV cameras on the hoardings and also share the footage with BMC.
Also, the policy is set to allow LED screen hoardings instead of flex boards, which need to be changed every time the advertiser changes. Civic officials said the shift will have dual benefits. It can be used for advertisements as well as displaying public service announcements during an emergency. While digital hoardings and LEDs will not be allowed on highways, the BMC is exploring the option to set up the same on petrol pumps, gas stations, malls and other public places. “The problem in using LED screen hoardings on highways is that it might lead to accidents. However, there have been no instances where such hoardings have led to accidents on smaller roads,” said Chaudhari.
Further, the policy seeks to promote the use of solar energy for illuminating banners and hoardings. It is offering a 10 per cent rebate in advertisement fees to those who use solar energy to illuminate the hoardings for the first year.