After the Karnataka High Court pulled up the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Urban Development Department for not implementing the new advertisement policy, Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj on Saturday carried out a drive to remove posters in the city.
This comes after the High Court’s direction to rid Bengaluru of illegal flex banners before August 15.
Mayor R Sampath Raj along with Congress leader M Shivaraju and 198 corporators of Bengaluru began the poster removal drive across the city on Saturday morning.
The pourakarmikas and corporators together went to remove posters, buntings and illegal flex banners in every road in their respective wards.
Mayor Sapath Raj removed wall posters near Carvery Guest House on Palace road. The drive will continue on Sunday as well, the Mayor said.
"Pourakarmikas and corporators will carry out the drive even if tomorrow is a holiday, to implement the court order. We are taking part in this drive for an hour today and tomorrow," Mayor Sampath Raj added.
The Mayor also requested volunteers to take part in the drive.
On Friday, the Chief Secretary of the state, TM Vijay Bhaskar submitted before the Chief Justice of Karnataka Justice Dinesh Maheshwari that 14 officers of the Urban Development Department were responsible for the delay in approving the BBMP’s proposal to amend the renewal of licences for printers of flex banners.
The Chief Secretary’s report comes after the High Court had held him responsible for the menace of illegal hoardings and ordered a probe into why the implementation of the new proposed bye-laws was being delayed.
The Chief Secretary’s affidavit states that there was a delay of 22 months from the date when the proposed advertisement bye-laws were sent to the Urban Development Department. “The proposal was received from BBMP on August 8, 2016 and had remained with the UDD till July 4, 2018,” it states.
Three undersecretaries, a deputy secretary, a section officer and a senior assistant in the BBMP division; four undersecretaries, two section officers, a deputy director ad a senior assistant in the Corporation section were found to be negligent in supervising the implementation of the new bye-laws.
“The inaction, inadequate supervision, and the delay caused by these officials have been noted and disciplinary action will be initiated against them,” the affidavit adds.
The Chief Secretary also submitted that there was no communication between department heads and subordinates regarding the issue. The Court reprimanded the BBMP and UDD officials stating that many printers and advertisers of illegal hoardings had benefited due to the negligence.