720 errant establishments will be charged fines for flouting norms by not displaying their names in Marathi
The BMC visited 13,697 establishments over the course of a four-day drive
On a four-day drive beginning November 28, the BMC issued notices to 720 shops for not displaying signboards in Marathi. Of the 13,697 city establishments visited by the municipal corporation, five per cent reportedly didn’t adhere to the new signboard norms. On the first day of the drive, it was found that 176 of the 3269 shops visited didn’t put up Marathi signboards. By November 1, the BMC found that 12,977 of the 13,697 establishments prominently displayed their names in the official state language.
The action against errant establishments was undertaken as the time period granted for compliance with signboard norms in the city had ended, a BMC official said. In each ward, two teams began making visits; on average, 150-200 shops were served notices per day. The BMC informed that fines amounting to Rs 2,000 will be charged per staffer in each shop following court orders, with Rs 1,00,000 as the maximum fine that can be charged to an establishment. Additionally, a fine of Rs 2,000 will be slapped each day on those who continue to default.
Per the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) (Amendment) Act, 2022, all shops in the state must display Marathi signboards in the Devanagari script. In case there are boards in multiple languages, the Marathi one shouldn’t be smaller than the others. According to BMC estimates, as of October and November 2023, 20 per cent of city establishments weren’t complying with the law. At the time, officials visited over 28,653 shops, serving notices to 5,217 of them.
Previously, the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA) challenged the constitutionality of the amendment and requested a stay on BMC action. Following a Supreme Court stay order in November 2022, action against errant shops was stopped. On September 25 this year, the SC gave establishments two months to comply with norms; the next hearing date given by the Court is in the first week of December.
No of city establishments given notices per day