MUMBAI: Amid the scare over the spread of Covid-19 in the city, the BMC has written to all licensed hoarding owners that they must only display awareness messages about coronavirus for 10 days starting March 16 up to March 25. The civic body plans to take stern action against those who don’t comply.
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Hoardings have already come up in several areas with advisories on the steps one must take to prevent the spread of Covid-19. For instance, one hoarding reads: ‘We can stop Corona, avoid close contact with anyone that has fever and cough.’
Civic officials said the need of the hour was an intensive awareness campaign to minimise the spread of the virus. Mumbai has approximately 1,200 hoardings of various sizes at high footfall areas and traffic signals.
A BMC official on Sunday said they had started the process of sending out letters to hoarding owners so that they did not have any reason to not display the awareness messages. “We want citizens to take utmost precautions and are, therefore, ensuring there is an aggressive awareness campaign from our side as well. There should be no reason for the hoarding owners to say they were not aware and, hence, a formal letter from the BMC’s licence department is being sent out. At a meeting held a week ago too, senior BMC authorities had conveyed this to all advertisers,” said a civic official.
As an incentive for advertisers who are expected to print the flexes at their own cost, those displaying the awareness messages will be given a rebate in licence fees for the display period. However, in case hoarding owners fail to display the awareness messages during the 10-day period, BMC authorities have said they will cancel their licences, remove the present display and the hoarding structure as well.