Hyderabad: When Ram Gopal Verma (RGV) put up a poster of the soon-to-be-released film ‘power star’ on a street corner in Hyderabad, little did he realize that he was violating the law.

 A civilian complained about the poster to the central enforcement cell of the GHMC. The cell immediately swung into action and slapped Rs 4000 fine on him. It also issued notice to RGV warning him against violating the law.

 “It is found that without the written permission of competent authority, you have placed a poster which obstructs/inconveniences the public. It is an offence,” read the notice.

According to Telangana prevention of Disfigurement of open places and prohibition of obscene and objectionable posters and advertisements Act, 1997,  whoever affixes to, or inscribes or exhibits on any places open to public view any objectionable advertisement shall be punished with imprisonment, which may extend to one year, or with fine which shall not be less than Rs two thousand.

GHMC in the city has been taking this issue seriously. In the last one month, the central enforcement cell has slapped fines on the 18 offenders who have put up posters on the streets. The violators have been fined from Rs 4,000 to Rs 1,00,000.

 From political parties to schools, people put up flex boards, banners, and sometimes simple posters on the walls which often distract drivers and can cause accidents.

 “The rules are very simple. The act says prohibit people from putting up these posters without permission. There is a financial penalty which is very heavy. People can use the GHMC app to inform about the violation. It can be a movie poster or any other poster pasted on the wall without permission,” said Vijay Gopal, an activist who has lodged Twitter campaign against defacing the city.

Apart from flex boards or posters, if someone puts up a digital board, he or she can be challaned. The digital board should not distract the passerby and should be in fixed permissible size.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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