Dam(n) these hoardings

Sometimes I wonder if I rant too much about Bangalore from 360 km away, enjoying this air-conditioned comfort. Sure, the city has its good points, but much of its problems continue because of the indecisiveness in effectively dealing with them by the said authorities. That the actual damage is due to their short-sightedness is beyond doubt. Take one issue that riles many. Particularly those with an aesthetic sense. *Ahem*


Hundreds of them all over the city. Sometimes, at nooks and corners. Some at hieghts that one needs to crane ones neck to see them. Whatever their location, in my opinion, they are nothing but an eyesore. I believe the Bangalore skyline can be better off without them. I can recall many of them on Brigade Road, for example. Riding on that short stretch, these hoardings are only a distraction. Even the newly evolved ones – teasers – are a pain in the neck!

Are they really needed, one wonders, when the products they represent are also being peddled on TV, printed in newspapers, pamphlets, mouthed on the airwaves et al. A case of overkill, if you ask me!

I wonder how many of these visual hoardings really serve the purpose as an inducement to buy or promote a brand. I mean, come on, does anyone really buy an apartment based on a hoarding? Or, even casual wear?

It is estimated that there are nearly 1500 hoardings in the city. Many of these are ‘unauthorised’ & ‘illegal’ but the clever guys who run the hoarding companies get stay orders from our honorable High Court and that prevents the BMP from pulling it down.

The guys who run BMP, ineffectual as they are, have neither the guts nor the gumption to take a decision once and for all to ban these hoardings. Would you believe there is even such a thing as Public Places Disfigurement Act? I wonder just how many times it has been invoked.

Consider this report which states:

” Of the 300 private hoarding companies who have registered with the BMP, only 75 had renewed their licence till last year and over 68 companies owed the BMP over Rs. 90 lakhs as advertisement tax.

The advertisement firms have been allegedly cheating the BMP over a period of time. While the firms pay Rs. 17,000 a year to the BMP for a standard size hoarding of 24×12 ft, they charge lakhs of rupees from their clients every month. Besides, they not only put up hoardings larger than the prescribed size but also more than the permitted number, according to sources.”

As to how distracting the hoardings are, let me give you an example from over here in Chennai. I travel on this road (Anna Salai) everyday and halt at this signal (from where this pic was taken). But I have just not noticed the
sign of the Apollo hospital in the background. So much so that when an occasion demanded that I visit this hospital lately, I could not believe that I have been unaware of its location. Thanks to the huge hoardings that shut out its signage & visibility by almost 100%. You get what i mean?

Seriously folks, I hope that hoardings, buntings, posters et al are banned in Bangalore soon.

Lets replace them with greenery instead…always a sight for sore eyes! Ennu heluthira?


3 Comments so far

  1. usha (unregistered) on April 18th, 2006 @ 6:58 pm

    damage already done ree. I was just thinking of this same issue this afternoon. Sudden aagi nam pakkadu roadalli on the gates of every house there is a sign which says “No parking in front of the gate” and then the name of some finance company!! akasmathu neeevu elanu nodutha iddare they will put a sticker on the back of your shirt. you will be a walking advertisement!

  2. rubic_cube (unregistered) on April 18th, 2006 @ 9:15 pm

    Good topic to discuss. You should note the number of hoardings that are put up close to the Bangalore airport arrival and departure approach roads. And also en route to ITPL. Very distracting!

  3. Johnson (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2006 @ 4:27 am

    Commercial hoardings – of course, they are an eyesore.

    But worse, local political parties are now using technology (what a misuse?) to plaster every pole, tree (permanently) with huge colour mugshots of themselves and their entire battalion.

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