Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation to continue its crackdown on rooftop hoardings making the city safe and beautiful

Bhubaneswar: House owners putting rooftop hoardings beware! Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is going to collect holding tax in commercial rate from the house owners, who have allowed advertisers to have rooftop hoardings illegally on their buildings. Rooftop hoardings in the city are now stated by the civic body as illegal contributing to unsafe and cluttered city skyline.
On the first day of removing of the rooftop hoarding in the city the team under the leadership of Zonal Deputy Commissioner (North Zone) today removed 13 rooftop hoardings in the Chandrasekhar Pur area.
According to Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Srimanta Mishra, as per the 2006 Advertisement Regulations notified by the State Government, the Municipal Commissioner is empowered to remove any unauthorised advertisement from the city without prior notice. As the rooftop hoardings are unauthorised and illegal after first April 2018, the rooftop hoardings could be removed as per the order of the Municipal Commissioner.
The Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) also added that as per the Housing and Urban Development Department Resolution on November 21, 2013, notified in the Odisha Gazette as Advertisement Policy for Urban Odisha-2013, ‘’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 said ‘’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.’’
Apart from the cluttered and bad skyline the hoardings, at times, just equal to the size of the rooftops they are on, making the structures vulnerable to the wind related damages as the wind load remains high during occasions like cyclones and other calamities.
There were several incidents in the past across the city in which the hoardings had fallen over vehicles or pedestrians and such incidents at Kalpana and Palaspalli are still in the memories of local residents.
Empanelled Structural Engineer with the Bhubaneswar Development Authority Bibhu Ranjan Giri says ‘’the huge hoardings always pose a threat to the structures and especially to the passersby and the vehicles going nearby. The skyline also gets a haphazard look due to the piled up hoardings on the roof tops.’’
The civic authorities, meanwhile, today has asked all the Zonal Deputy Commissioners (ZDCs) to make the re-assessment of holding tax in commercial rates on the houses or structures, which are having rooftop hoardings on them. The ZDCs were also given a list of buildings in 16 stretches from the 40-km priority corridor across the city for the Hockey World Cup-2018, along which, the building owners have rooftop hoardings and are earning revenue from them.
The civic body after today’s drive in the North Zone will continue the same to bring down rooftop hoardings in all other zones across the city.

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