Corporators slam new hoarding policy

The new hoarding policy approved by Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte in the first week of December has run foul with corporators.

The policy, which bans new hoardings atop residential and commercial buildings within the city limits, is aimed at checking their rampant spread.

Shiv Sena corporator Yashodhar Phanse, who brought up the issue in the civic body's standing committee meeting on Thursday, said, "The existing policy, which was introduced in 2007, is to be executed for 10 years, until 2017. Why is the administration introducing a new policy before the expiry of the old one?"

While the existing policy mandates a 20-metre distance between two licensed advertisement hoardings, the new policy draft has proposed a 100-metre distance. It has also banned hoardings around religious sites.

Further, advertisement boards in terraces of buildings older than 30 years face imminent removal. As per the proposed policy, the BMC will allow leases to be renewed only in case of structures under 30 years of age and if the application contains a structural

stability certificate.

Samajwadi Party corporator Rais Shaikh said, "Many housing societies earn revenue from hoardings for maintenance purposes. These will be affected by the new policy."

Following the opposition from corporators, the proposed policy will now be sent for discussion among the 227 corporators in the general body meeting of the BMC.

According to the BMC's licence department, 1,692 hoardings are currently installed in the island city and eastern and western suburbs. Of these, 630 are on terraces and rooftops.

The ban will not include 194 hoardings set up on dead-wall portions of buildings and 868 installed at ground level.

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