Making Mysuru poster-free
The next time you paste a poster on any wall within the city limits, watch out. The Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) is all set to intensify its campaign to make the city poster-free. Criminal cases will be filed against those defacing public places with posters and banners under Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1981.
Launching an anti-defacement campaign to make Mysuru poster-free under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, after holding discussions with ‘Poster Hatao India’ campaign representatives, Mayor M.J. Ravi Kumar told reporters that the MCC will spare no effort to bring to book those defacing public, private buildings and open spaces with posters, banners or writings. He called for the immediate removal of the same across the city.
Under the provisions of Karnataka Open Spaces (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1981, defacement of any property (public or private, stationary or moving) in public view is a cognizable offence.
The Mayor said that the MCC has been trying hard to retain the ‘clean city’ tag and has launched several initiatives and campaigns. “Henceforth, the provisions of law will be enforced effectively. We have already filed six cases under the Act in the last one month and the drive to check the menace will be intensified. Film distributors have asked for a space to paste film posters in the city. We have issued warning not to paste posters on public walls,” he said.
Consultant for Union Urban Development Ministry for ‘Anti-Defacement’ under Swachh Bharat Mission Colonel Shivraj Kumar is in the city to spread awareness about the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1981. Earlier, he conducted an ‘anti-defacement’ session for MCC authorities to create awareness on legal aspects of anti-defacement and public participation to complain and remove posters.
Shivraj Kumar, who is spearheading a campaign ‘Poster Hatao India’ since 2009 in parts of the country, said that penalty for violation in Karnataka is less compared to New Delhi. “Under the 1981 Act, offenders of disfigurement could be punished with an imprisonment up to six months or a fine up to Rs. 1,000 or both. But in Delhi, penalty for the same violation is up to Rs. 50,000 or one year imprisonment or both. He regretted that posters had become a common spectacle on several walls, electricity and telephone poles, while banners announcing various programmes, including religious and political ones, were put up in different areas.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime and Traffic) N. Rudramuni said that the Police Department will take strict action against the violators and they will also file suo moto cases.
NEW ADVERTISEMENT POLICY
The MCC will now allow advertisement hoardings and billboards. It may be recalled here that after the licenses issued for advertisement hoardings and billboards across the city were misused, leading to loss of revenue, the MCC had, in April 2015, stopped renewing the existing licenses or issuing fresh licenses.
“We will unveil a new outdoor advertisement policy for the city in the coming MCC Budget,” said K.V. Mallesh, Chairperson of MCC’s Standing Committee on Taxation, Finance and Appeals. The rules of outdoor advertising, however, will keep in mind the city’s heritage and aesthetics, he added.
Deputy Mayor Rathna Lakshman, retired Commander Sathish Aiyappa, Kamala Aiyappa, MCC Health Officer Dr. Nagaraj and others were present at the press conference.