Corporators say instead of working on policy to ensure city gets rid of banners, civic body's new proposal only aims at checking their proliferation; new guidelines for displaying hoardings on roads, pavements yet to see light of day

Quite a few corporators have submitted proposals to change the hoarding policy in the city, but the civic body has been allegedly unwilling to implement these. The corporators hinted that the main reason behind this unwillingness was the revenue-generating potential of sky signs.

No progress: Big political hoardings dot the roads in Yerawada. The
state government is still undecided about the new policy to check
number of banners that are put up on city roads and pavements.
Pic/Krunal Gosavi

"Instead of making the city banner-free, the Standing Committee has now passed a new hoarding policy which lays down directions for displaying flexes on the roads," said a source. A few months ago, the new hoarding policy was passed by the Standing Committee and the General Body of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), which was approved by almost all the political parties.

"The sponsors of these flexes, however, filed a writ against the ambitious hoarding policy which impelled the state government to a bring a stay order. Even after the PMC invited objections and suggestions from sponsors, the state government is undecided on the policy," said Tukaram Shinde, the chief licence officer at PMC's sky sign department.

Of the 763 objections submitted by advertisers, only 215 were presented in the final hearing. BJP Corporator Ashok Yenpure had submitted a proposal in 2007 before the General Body to curb illegal hoardings in the city.
"The proposal suggested that a certain amount of fees be paid to the PMC for displaying banners and this was accepted by the General Body. However, in the subsequent GB meeting, the matter was swept under the carpet," said Yenpure.

Although the new hoarding policy does not aim to make the city banner-free, it aims to check their proliferation. "The policy stipulates the ideal size and height of the banners and the place of display. It also checks for controversial and potentially insidious content, which could disturb public peace. However, it is yet to see the light of day," said independent corporator Ujjwal Keskar.