As the Karnataka High Court implemented the flex ban. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike was forced to take a look at the hoardings in the city. After the deadline given by the HC, the BBMP came into action and removed nearly 40,000 flexes and illegal hoardings, and in its submission to the HC, the BBMP has stated that it has removed around 94,000 unauthorised flexes and hoardings in the city within the last four years.
Flex Ban: New material introduced by advertisers to re-flex
Advertisers say that the new material that has been proposed as a substitute for flex is good for outdoor advertising as it’s water and sun proof. Subbu, a fabric expert, to whom Bangalore Mirror showed a sample of the fabric, said, “This is not cotton but a synthetic fabric. This could be either polyester or nylon. Usually, this fabric is used in jackets or sportswear from reputed brands. This kind of fabric is known for its durability.”
Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, BBMP Chief N Manjunatha Prasad said, “Yes, the advertisers proposed an alternative fabric instead of flex. They have also brought a letter from the National Textile Corporation certifying that the fabric is not harmful to the environment and it is biodegradable. But this material is allowed only for those advertisers who have won the tenders for projects under the Public Private Partnership model. They will be paying advertisement taxes every year and meanwhile they can generate their revenue for the works they have taken up.”
The BBMP budget (2018-19) had estimated Rs 75.25 Cr tax collection from advertisement tax and cess collection. According to BBMP’s data it has collected Rs 27.20 Cr in 2017-18 financial year.
In 2017, the Ex-Assistant Commissioner, Advertisement, BBMP had stated that if due process was followed, BBMP could earn up to Rs 2,000 Cr through hoarding. BBMP has also awarded tenders to advertising agencies to construct 25 skywalks under the PPP model for 30 years, 500 bus shelters for 20 years and BBMP toilets and flyovers to generate revenue.