In addition to dunning notices, the citizenship can revoke the business license of defaulters and also confiscate their business – but so far this has not happened in a single case. Unpaid fines over the years have dragged the GHMC down as it now stares at a cash shortage.
While the flexis ban has been in place statewide since 1996 under GO #1163, it was not until October 2019 that policies and mechanisms to enforce it were put in place. However, officials said that in addition to the difficulty in levying fines, they are also finding it difficult to identify the person responsible as most banners lack details.
Officials said over 2 lakh challans have been issued since the 2019 ban, mostly against unauthorized commercial and some political hoarding.
A total of 66 printers were fined for both commercial and political billboards. A significant number of challans were imposed on well-known printers.
Among those who have been fined are Kalpana Digitals printers, Bright digitalsVarna ads and Mamatha printer.
“We ran an action in April and issued 1,321 Chalans against printers. Of these, 83% were commercial billboards while the rest were political,” said an official with the Enforcement Vigilance and Disaster Management (EV&DM) wing.
A recent response from GHMC to a RTI The motion by city-based activist Robin Zaccheus revealed that TRS’s biggest bill came during CM K Chandrasekhar Rao’s birthday celebrations between February 16-17. A total of 269 challans were generated against TRS leaders across the city, resulting in a fine of around 20 rupees lakh.
“When I submitted an RTI to query the total number of Challans issued to political parties, the GHMC replied that they do not keep any party-related data. This is obviously a protective decision by the citizens’ authority,” said Zacchaeus.