Illegal hoardings in Bengaluru: Take action against erring officers to logical end, says HC

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday said it is not enough to initiate action against erring officers of the city civic body — Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) — responsible for illegal hoardings in the city, but these should be taken to their logical conclusion.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit was hearing an ongoing public interest litigation filed by Mayige Gowda, a city resident, against illegal hoardings and advertisements here.

The BBMP submitted to the court details of the action taken in pursuance of the HC directions.

The court was informed that show cause notices have been issued to “officers who have committed dereliction of duty or were slow and lethargic in performance of their duties.”

The highest number of such notices were in the East Zone where 85 officers had been issued notices by August 9, 2023. It was issued to 30 officers in West Zone, 17 in South Zone, one in Mahadevapura, five in RR Nagar, 10 in Yelahanka and four in Dasarahalli.

According to the compliance report filed by the BBMP before the court, the Special Commissioner (Revenue) chaired a meeting with all officers concerned on September 2 and gave directions to book FIRs as directed by the HC and report on the removal of unauthorised hoardings.

On September 20, the Chief Commissioner had a meeting with Zonal and Joint Commissioners and issued instructions to follow the HC orders.

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As part of the action plan, in the first phase, approximately 1,400 km of arterial and sub-arterial roads were surveyed to identify and remove illegal structures/ hoardings.

Teams consisting of the executive engineer and others were constituted at the zone level and sub-division level for the purpose.

The team was given ten days to complete the survey and submit a report by September 30. After issuing notices, the illegal hoardings concerned were removed and the entire activity was completed by October 8, 2023.

The HC adjourned the hearing after directing the BBMP to conduct a survey on the advertising hoardings here, and submit details on how many of them have been given permission by the authorities in the last three years and the action taken against and fines collected from illegal hoardings.

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