After Byatarayanapura MLA blew the whistle in state assembly, TheBengaluruLive found that BDA is not empowered under its own Act to issue advertisement rights
Questioned, BDA chief confirms permission given to ad agency, says he will ‘check’ legal angle
Under what provision of which Act has the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) allowed the erection of 147 hoardings at the Hebbal flyover junction? That is the hot-potato question confronting BDA officials who invited tenders and issued work orders for the same.
In fact, they could be in a soup as the city’s planning authority does not have any rights over the flyover following its handing-over to BBMP in 2015. The only thing that can save their skin is any permission granted by the Urban Development Department, notwithstanding the fact that hoardings in the city are banned by BBMP.
The Hebbal hoardings ‘kissa’ made news after Byatarayanapura Congress MLA Krishna Byre Gowda recently questioned the BJP government in the assembly over the permission given to a private firm, Avinashi Ads, for 147 hoardings at the flyover.
Read here: ‘Hoardings at Hebbal flyover will be public loot’ (https://thebengalurulive.com/hoardings-at-hebbal-flyover-will-be-public-loot/
‘Rights vest with BBMP’
An officer in BBMP said that BDA doesn’t own the flyover or the surrounding space after it was developed and handed over to BBMP. Moreover, he noted, “BBMP and also the Karnataka High Court have imposed a ban on any kind of hoardings in the city limits. Though the sections under the KMC Act pertaining to advertisements do not specifically say so, BBMP reserves the right to issue any permission for hoardings. Now, advertisers will have to wait till the (new) BBMP Act is implemented before seeking permission for advertisement hoardings in the city.”
As per information available, Avinashi Ads was given permission to install 55 hoardings in 2018, which have become 147 in 2020.
The issue caught the eye of Krishna Byre Gowda, who questioned the BJP government and demanded an explanation, noting that consequently the entire Hebbal flyover would be covered by hoardings.
Law Minister J Madhuswamy, in his reply on the floor of the assembly, said the agency generates annual revenues of Rs 200 crore, and added, “We agree that he will have a profitable business but he has won the tender and he will be paying Rs 1.1 crore to BDA for a period of 5 years, with 5% additional payments every year. We agree that BDA has given him permission to install 147 hoardings and we request the opposition leaders to provide suggestions to the state government so that whatever steps are required can be initiated. I will bring all the concerns raised by the opposition leaders before the Chief Minister to review the tender as the agreement between BDA and Avinash Ads is for 30 years.”
Thebengalurulive spoke to a former BDA Commissioner who, on condition of anonymity, said that during his two-year tenure no agency had approached him seeking advertisement or hoarding erection rights in the BDA limits. “Moreover, as far as I know there is no provision under the BDA Act to invite tenders and issue work orders for installation of advertisement hoardings. BDA is the planning authority and BBMP has the rights to issue permission for installing hoardings,” he said.
We also spoke to current BDA Commissioner Dr HR Mahadev and questioned him under which section of the BDA Act permission was given to Avinashi Ads. Confirming the fact, he said, “BDA has given permission for erection of hoardings but I need to check before commenting under which section it was given to the advertisement agency.” We also tried to speak to the Avinashi Ads owner but there was no response to our calls.
Infrastructure handed over by BDA to BBMP in 2015
- The Hebbal flyover, the entire 56 km length of Outer Ring Road
- HSR Layout flyover
- Marathahalli Road railway over bridge
- Ramamurthy Nagar underpass
- Iblur flyover
- Agra flyover
- Magadi Road and Chord Road junction underpass
- Nayandahalli railway under bridge
- Veeranapalya flyover
- Sumanahalli flyover
- Kalyan Nagar flyover
- Badrappa Layout flyover