The New “Height” rules by GHMC

We often hear and read that many hoardings or the banners fallen during cyclones or heavy winds, which sometimes caused severe damages. In the previous year I.e., 2019 September, we have seen a traumatic incident in Chennai where a 23year old girl was seen dead due to the illegal roadside banner. On basing those situations the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad passed a new go restricting the height of the banners.

What is GHMC ?

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is the civic body that oversees Hyderabad, the capital and largest city of Telangana. It is the local government for the cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Its geographical area covers most of the urban development agency the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA)

Such type of Municipal Corporations are created for the administration of big cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, etc,. They function through four main organs namely council, mayor, standing committees and commissioner.

GHMC co-ordinates with various other government organisations like HMDA,HMR,HMW & TSRTC, Hyderabad Traffic Police, etc. for delivering basic urban services. It conducts many works like Building and maintenance of roads, streets and flyovers; street lighting; maintenance of parks, open spaces, city sanitation works; registering births and deaths are all conducted by GHMC.
GHMC is headed by a Municipal commissioner, an IAS officer. It is responsible for administration and providing basic infrastructure to the city.

The New GO :-

Hoardings are the common things we always see in any city or town. There are many companies and employees involved in this sector. Hoardings are nothing but advertisement. These days advertising is the good sector to develop one’s own business.
Hyderabad being a very big city, it is the scope for many companies to advertise and promote their products. In every turn of the city we can find a banner advertising some or the other product. We see hoardings at an extreme height. We can find many hoardings placed on three storied and four or more storied buildings.
During natural calamity times like cyclones and storms, we see many trees, electric poles and hoardings falling down. Trees are something that cannot be restricted, electric poles are mostly placed in places far away to residentials. But hoardings are something being placed upon high buildings, which causes damages during storm and cyclones by falling down. There are many incidents occurred due to this reason. Many times the fallen banners have blocked the road, there are also many situations where the broken hoardings have fallen on electric poles and interrupted the electric supply to the citizens.
On basing these situations, the GHMC passed a new GO 68 which stated that the height of the hoardings is restricted to 15feet. As soon as lockdown phase ends the GHMC wants all the hoardings above 15 feet to be removed and the banners coming further shall be only in the height of 15feet.
By passing this new go, the GHMC expects to reduce the number of incidents and damages to be caused by hoardings. One of the person from the GHMC says

Issues Raising :-

While the public are not happy with this new go. There are many people involved in this sector to earn their daily basis. There are nearly 150 companies involved in this business. Nearly 50-60 crores profit is gained through this hoardings business. There are both large-scale and small-scale employees involved in this business. Large-scale employees deal with the companies and gain their deals and offers to publish , promote their products. And the small-scale employees are involved in printing, iron rods manufacture and also colouring.
There are approximately 2,600 hoardings above 15feet in the city. If the new go comes into force all those hoardings might be removed. Meanwhile there will be no existence of such large number of hoardings if the new go comes into force. Many employees becomes jobless. There are many daily workers like carpenters, painters who work for daily wages. They earn nearly 500-600/- per day. If this new rule applies, there will be decrease in number of hoardings, which in turn reduces the job opportunities and work for those daily workers.
All the small-scale workers are not happy with the new go announced the GHMC. These days they are facing difficult conditions due to the Covid-19 and by applying this new go they might face more losses and debts. They wanted the GHMC to allot some more time so that they can find a way for remedy or else find a new sector to earn.

GHMC View :-

Meanwhile, the GHMC is saying that we are no completely restricting the hoardings but we are just regulating the rules.
On basing the past incidents occurred in the city the GHMC took this decision. There were situations where people suffered with injuries due to construction of weak hoardings at a very high level buildings. There are many situations where the broken banners feel on electric poles and interrupted supply of electricity.
There is also a main issue regarding hoardings i.e., illegal hoardings. GHMC allotted only few places for placing the hoarding. But there many illegal hoardings being placed in the city. But those hoardings have been removed by the GHMC quite time ago.

Final Word :-

The GHMC is not interested in stepping back in the case of restrictions and also the public wanted some time to set another earning sector if the employment in advertising zone becomes tuff. However the new rule is taken by the Government before-hand to protect public from dangerous incidents that might occur in future.

Author: D Sravya Reddy,
Ifim Law School, 1st year / student

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