Mumbai civic body finalises hoarding policy, focus on uniform rates, solar power push

Published on Sep 11, 2018 05:41 AM IST

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finalised a new policy to regulate street advertising or hoardings in the city, clearing the decks for digital billboards, a first in some areas.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has also simplified hoarding regulation by removing rules for different sizes and cost in different zones.(Picture for representation)
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has also simplified hoarding regulation by removing rules for different sizes and cost in different zones.(Picture for representation)
Hindustan Times, Mumbai | ByEeshanpriya MS

Digital billboards may soon dominate Mumbai’s streets atop shopping malls, multiplexes and near petrol pumps.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finalised a new policy to regulate street advertising or hoardings in the city, clearing the decks for digital billboards, a first in some areas.

It has also simplified hoarding regulation by removing rules for different sizes and cost in different zones. However, despite citizens’ suggestion, the policy has shied away from introducing a deterrent to ban political billboards and banners and they may continue to stay unregulated.

On Friday, BMC finalised the policy, after examining 218 suggestions and objections, and adding some of them to the draft policy. The final draft will be sent to municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta for approval this week. It will then be tabled before the civic body’s general body for a final nod.

Nidhi Choudhari, deputy municipal commissioner, said, “The policy simplifies regulations for advertising in Mumbai. We are a commercial city, and need to promote advertising, and do away with archaic regulations. We have made exclusive changes to promote aesthetics. It is already illegal to put up political hoardings.”

The final policy may also introduce priority window clearance for digital billboards. Putting up digital billboards on highways is also under consideration, but will be subject to a no-objection certificate from the traffic police and will be considered on a case-on-case basis.

The policy has incentivised illuminated billboards using solar panels, and CCTV cameras providing their feed to BMC and traffic control rooms. It has also brought the cost of illuminated and non-illuminated hoardings on a par. Choudhari said, “Advertisers can choose to illuminate billboards if they want to. An illuminated city is always safer at night. According to court directives, the lights on billboards should be switched off by 11pm.”

Advertisers will have to display civic messages on the hoardings for a minimum of 30 days, contrary to the original rule of a minimum of 15 days, in exchange for a rebate.

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