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No action on hoardings at heritage sites

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 15, 2013
First Published: 01:45 IST(15/3/2013) | Last Updated: 01:46 IST(15/3/2013)

While the civic body went into a tizzy to remove illegal banners and posters, another order to pull down hoardings on heritage structures and precincts is still to be implemented.


The Bombay high court, acting on a petition filed by gynaecologist Dr Anahita Pundole, had in July 2012 directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to follow guidelines formulated by the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) in 2003.

The guidelines had specified that permission could not be granted to place hoardings on heritage sites.

Last year, the high court had ordered the civic body to allow the MHCC to decide on whether such hoardings could be permitted on a case-by-case basis. The ones that didn't get the committee's approval would have to be removed. 

However, the BMC seems to have turned a blind eye to the order.

When contacted, Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner, said hoardings in heritage areas won't be permitted henceforth.

“We have decided not to permit any new hoardings at heritage sites. The existing ones are being disposed of.”

A reading of the order makes it clear that such hoardings are not legal. Adtani agreed, saying, “Except the hoardings which have obtained a stay order against their removal, the remaining  do not fit into the heritage policy guidelines. Hence, we will be conducting hearings and ensuring that they don't crop up again.”

Meanwhile, the MHCC clarified its stand.

“Banning hoardings on heritage structures and in precincts will help in retaining its aesthetic and architectural value. We will only allow signage to be put up, provided they don't hamper the structure's architectural value. There is a need for consistent and continuous action on hoardings,” said V Ranganathan, chairperson, MHCC.

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