Illegal Hoardings a Menace to City’s Beauty and Safety Threat to Motorists
Mangaluru: Seems like there is a hoarding/billboard/banner epidemic in Mangaluru! At every nook and corner of the city, you will see illegal hoardings or banners advertising about school admissions, opening of a showroom or shifting of a supermarket, concert or beach party announcements, conventions or public gathering announcements etc etc- and the funny part is that none of these have permission from the Mangaluru City Corporation to put them up. Then why is MCC not doing anything about this illegal practice, which is losing revenue due to these free advertising?
Call it the examples of advertising vandalism, visual pollution or label them as the pox of outdoor advertising…or simply call them hoardings or billboards! Though I am not against advertising, the number of hoardings/flex banners in our City have reached epidemic proportions and I have developed an allergy to them. And guess what…most of them are illegal! Seems like ours is one of the few cities in the country where permission to put up hoardings is given easily or bribing the concerned official and where illegal billboards are ignored, especially those put up by political parties, businesses, coaching institutes, show organisers etc..
Court orders, MCC advertising laws, strict directives and an exhaustive list of Dos and Don’ts notwithstanding, the menace of rickety and illegal hoardings continues to haunt Mangaloreans. Adding to the concern is a load of unlawful advertising boards, hoardings, flexes and uni-poles that continue to exist, despite MCC’s rules and regulations on outdoor advertising. Probably MCC has no count of illegal hoardings in the city and is doing nothing to stop it. It has only recently begun to conduct a survey to ascertain the same.
Currently, the main areas flaunting’ these hoardings include Hampankatta Circle, Clock Tower Circle, Kankanady Pumpwell, Bunts Hostel Circle, Jyothi Circle, Lady Hill Circle, MG Road, among others. Most of these advertisers are yet to follow the norms. As per court ruling, these hoardings are “hazardous to traffic”. But the problem with MCC is that they will get into action for one day and remove all the illegal hoardings, and thereafter for a month or two months, they keep quiet.
MCC needs to ban these illegal hoardings-areas are to be designated as “no-hoardings zones”. Strict action should be taken against those breaking the laws. All hoardings that compromise road safety are to be removed, especially those at Hampankatta Circle. MCC should launch a drive to remove all illegal billboards immediately, and also warn about fines if hoardings are erected illegally. MCC should remove hoardings from city junctions as they are hazardous to traffic. In any case hoardings/flex banners, whether legal or illegal, should not be allowed to deface natural beauty, the city’s skyline, or cause safety hazards. No-hoarding zones are the need of the hour!