Bhubaneswar: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a demand notice of Rs 13.6 lakh to 17 organisations having unauthorized advertisements, which were removed by the civic body during enforcement drive.
The demand notice, issued as per BMC Advertisement Regulations, 2006, would call for Certificate cases if the organisations fail to pay the dues within seven days, the BMC said in a release yesterday.
As per the regulations the civic body is to collect a charge of Rs 5,000 per advertisement for its removal if it is within the size of 100 square feet. If the size of the advertisement/hoarding is above 100 square feet, the dismantling charge is Rs 7,000 as per the BMC Advertisement Regulations, 2006.
The different agencies/firms (17) against whom the civic body has issued the demand notice include Java Technocrat, Sipra Academy, Kalinga Academy, Arihant Academy, IBT, HDFC Bank, ABACUS, Veta, Studio-11, Cognitive Point, NICET, Endeavor, Pragnya, Chanakya, Disha, Kensoft and DAV Public School Palaspalli.
BMC Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Srimanta Mishra said “as the civic body has taken up a cause in order to clean up the skyline and rescue the city from a cluttered look and enforce aesthetics mainly along the priority corridor of 40 km before the World Cup Hockey, removal of unauthorized hoardings was necessary and the agencies were asked to pay the fees with immediate effect. If they fail to do so within seven days of the issue of the notice, BMC will be forced to impose the stringent Orissa Public Demand Recovery (OPDR) Act – 1962.”
The OPDR Act is known for its serious consequences like attachment of property and bank accounts until the said case is not solved with immediate effect. Currently BMC has three Certificate Officers in three different zones.
The Housing and Urban Development Department Resolution on November 21, 2013, notified in the Odisha Gazette as Advertisement Policy for Urban Odisha-2013 says, “The guiding principle of the policy for outdoor advertisement should not be driven by revenue, but by the city development imperatives and aesthetics sense of the area.”
The H&UD Gazette notification also observed “the ULB has the right to disapprove a sign or hoarding which he considers to be offensive, or when he is of the opinion that the type, position, size, appearance, illumination, animation, content or other characteristics of the sign or hoarding may adversely affect the ambience, architectural character, appearance and traffic safety of the area.”
Meanwhile, the different enforcement squads of BMC continued its joint action over the rooftop hoardings along various major stretches and those especially coming under the 40 km priority corridor for the coming World Cup Hockey tournament.
The BMC action, which was initiated in the North Zone on Wednesday by bringing down 13 hoardings in the Chandrasekharpur area alone continued along Sishu Bhawan-Vani Vihar Square on the Janpath and along the CRP Square-Unit VIII DAV Public School Road. The enforcement will continue in coming days as well.
This action followed a directive from the Corporation to clean up the skyline and make it safe for the citizens of the State Capital, sources in BMC said.