The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is set to take decisive action against advertising agencies that fail to conduct safety audits for legal hoardings. Beginning on Friday (November 30), the PMC will file offenses against non-compliant agencies as part of an effort to enhance safety standards in the city.
Madhav Jagtap, Deputy Commissioner of the License & Sky Sign Department at PMC, emphasized that hoardings are considered lawful only when all required documentation, including structural audit reports, is submitted during the contract renewal process. Despite the mandatory requirement, many advertising agencies have neglected to provide the necessary safety documentation. The PMC will now initiate legal action against companies that do not comply with these regulations.
Every hoarding is required to undergo a structural assessment before the renewal of its 11-month contract. However, contracts for 1,350 hoardings have not been renewed with the submission of safety documentation, prompting the PMC to scrutinize the structural stability of these advertising structures.
The move comes after a hoarding collapsed in Kiwale village in April 2023, leading the civic body to order a comprehensive survey. This year’s survey by PMC revealed the presence of approximately 2,624 illegal hoardings alongside 1,600 legal ones in the civic areas. Activists have raised concerns about the increasing number of illegal hoardings, attributing it to the interests of certain government officials and advertising agencies. The delay in submitting structural audits for legal hoardings has been linked to this alleged nexus.
PMC officials have issued a warning that not only will negligent advertising agencies face consequences if the contracts for legal hoardings are not renewed with proper safety documentation, but civic officials involved in the process will also be held accountable.