Hyderabad: Responding to an RTI query, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has revealed that its Enforcement and Vigilance wing(EVDM) has slapped hefty fines against illegal advertisement amounting Rs. 46,19,54,300 from 13 March 2018 to 19 September 2020. The total amount collected through fines and challans amounted to Rs. 2,36,32,100 for the same period.
In the RTI response to activist S. Umesh Kumar, the GHMC also revealed that after imposing a penalty on the establishments for erecting banners, the DRF teams removed the illegal advertisements.
The amount which is collected by the Enforcement and Vigilance Wing of the GHMC is transferred to the accounts of the GHMC commissioner at the end of every month.
"This dissolves the purpose of having a different wing of GHMC. The money should be used by the EVDM only. The job of the EVDM limits to imposing and collecting fines," said S Umesh Kumar, Activist.
The activist is also not satisfied with the money collected by the EVDM. "The amount which is collected by the department is less than 10 per cent of the total fines they have imposed," said, S Umesh Kumar.
Following complaints from the activist Vinay Vangala, the GHMC has imposed a fine of more than Rs 1 crore on different establishments.
"There are lots of factor because of which these establishments are not paying the fines. The major reason is the less number of manpower and resources to deliver the challans. Establishments who are committing mistake should think in a positive way, should pay the challan instead of going to the courts," said Vinaya Vangala. Activist.
The violators have erected illegal advertisements without permission from the competent authorities which is an offence committed under Sections 420,421 of the GHMC Act and as per GO MS No. 68 dated April 20, 2020, states EV&DM in the e-challan.
"Many of the establishment doesn't know about the government order. When they go to court, they argue on the point of not being aware of government orders. Also, many of the establishment also says that because of the lockdown, their business is slow and that's why they can't pay the amount," said, S Umesh Kumar.
Activists Vijay Gopal, S. Umesh Kumar and Vinay Vangala regularly complain about the illegal banners in the city to the Enforcement and Vigilance Wing of the GHMC.
"Everyone should involve making Hyderabad a better and safer city, citizens should complain regularly about illegal things happening around them. The establishment should also think about clearing up those hoardings so that there will not be any inconvenience to the travellers passing nearby to the banners," added Vinay Vangala.
According to the Directorate of EV&DM, erection of advertisements displayed/painted advertisements, use of flashing lights or non-static illumination in the advertisements, size of advertisements or name board exceeding 15 per cent of the frontage of the building, use of moving, rotating or variable message advertising devices, operating an advertisement element without valid Structural Stability Certificate.
An advertisement placed in a manner of any additional board, structure or projection on the body of the vehicle/use of Illuminated advertisements with brightness more than the allowed limit without any written permission from the competent authority is an offence committed under the Sections 420, 421 of the GHMC Act.