'Poster Mafia' costs Bengaluru ₹300 crore every year
- Many leaders are hand-in-glove with revenue officials in the BBMP.
- As a result, about ₹300 crores of advertisement revenue is lost every year.
Bus stops, walls, pillars, trees, illegal hoardings and every government property in Bengaluru are time and again covered up with illegal publicity materials - despite the public disfigurement act.
The officials who spoke to Asianet Newsable said that many leaders are hand-in-glove with revenue officials in the BBMP. And as a result, about ₹300 crores of advertisement revenue is lost every year.
The BBMP has been collecting only about ₹30 crores.
In 2015, K Mathai, Deputy Commissioner for advertisement, raised ₹3 crore from a single ward once as advertisement tax in 2015. Advertisements through hoardings and posters were identified, and unwanted publicity materials were removed.
The revenue officials from the ward were made to work day and night for a month for the ₹3 crore collection.
He wanted this method to be replicated in all the 198 wards of BBMP to boost revenue, but officials seemed to have ensured Mathai's transfer instead.
According to the rules, for putting up an advertisement, one needs to obtain permission from the BBMP.
But many advertisers and followers of political leaders just all available space and do not pay.
MZ Ali, Wilson Garden Resident Welfare Association, says, "For every festival and birthday of film stars and political leaders, cheap and illegal publicity materials like posters, banners and hoardings are put up. The BBMP which should nail such persons has turned a blind eye,"
A meeting will be called with District In-charge Minister after the current Assembly session, and a decision will be taken to tackle these mafias, Mayor G Padmavathi said.