KMC starts crackdown on illegal billboards

- SAMIPA KHANAL, Kathmandu

Mar 5, 2017-

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has pulled down more than 1,400 illegal billboards carrying commercial messages of tobacco and alcohol companies, which cost the metropolis approximately Rs10 million in revenue. The KMC is taking down billboards around New Road area in the Capital. 

The move comes following the Supreme Court order that prohibits installing billboards on the roadside, which could be possible visual pollutant in town. 

The hoarding boards are a major source of revenue for the metropolis, which had collected Rs45 million in taxes from the billboard advertisement last year. 

Responding to a writ petition, the apex court last year had said that posters on walls, paintings, advertisement boards, billboards infringed people’s right to see beautiful objects, creating visual pollution. 

According to an official, as many as 1,000 of the pulled down boards had featured Ruslan Vodka of Himalayan Distillery and the rest had the advertisements of Nepal Ice, a product of Sun Gold Brewery. 

The hoarding boards which were removed from the city considering them to be visual pollutants during the Saarc Summit of 2014, resurfaced on rooftops. 

“There are certain criteria including heights, designs, placement and location that are to be followed to put up the hoarding boards,” said Abdul Majid Khan of the revenue department at the KMC. “We have been collecting a fine of Rs15,000 from the rule 

violators.” 

According to Kathmandu Metropolitan City Advertising Policy, 2013, billboards should be placed 30 feet high or above a location that is 10 feet inside the main road. The hoarding boards exceeding the size of 3 feet by 10 feet length must be designed under an engineer and should be insured. 

Such boards should not block window panes and terrace of the house that hosts them. The municipality levies Rs 500 in tax per square foot for the hoarding board and Rs800 for any kind of digital displays.  

Besides, the National Policy on Regulation and Control of Alcohol-2017 also bars any form of advertisement of alcohol and tobacco products in print or digital media.  

Published: 05-03-2017 08:11

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