A new draft advertisement policy prohibiting signboards and billboards has been formulated by Chittagong City Corporation (CCC).
CCC aims to boost revenue collection and infrastructural development through this policy.
If the draft is passed, no one will be allowed to put up any signboards without prior approval from city corporation authorities. In addition, the policy will also restrict billboards that hide the aesthetics of buildings, historical monuments, murals or sculptures, natural beauty, and government buildings.
The proposed policy also prohibits the construction of billboards on footpaths so that movement of pedestrians is kept unhindered.
In March 30 last year, the local government ministry asked CCC to draft a policy of advertisement for the port city. As per Md Mustafizur Rahman, chief revenue officer of CCC, the draft was forwarded to the local government ministry for approval a few months later on November 22.
As per ministry guidelines, CCC formed a five-member committee to prepare the draft in May. The committee was headed by Md Shamsuddoha, CCC chief executive officer, and the draft was completed in October 2017.
The draft advertisement policy has a total of 24 sections and has guidelines for eligible bidders to put up signboards, passenger sheds, bus stops, and display boards in different strategic points of the city and will be made available through open tender method.
The approved sign board dimensions are eight feet in length and 12 feet in width. As per the draft, no signage boards or posters will be allowed to hinder movement of pedestrians and vehicles, or advertise narcotics.
As per the proposed policy, the city corporation reserves the right to ask for any signboards to be removed and said they will only do so if it affects government or public interests. In such cases, enterprises will be required to dismantle their own signboards with 24 hours at their own expense. They will also have to remove their signage in cases of natural disasters as well.
The policy further outlines instructions for signage to ensure it displays the name, contact details, and license number of respective enterprises.
“The advertisement policy is long overdue. This will help clear visual pollution, not to mention existing signage is responsible for many harmful changes in the environment.
“People will soon be able to enjoy the panoramic beauty of the port city if the policy is implemented properly,” said Muhammad Rashidul Hasan, assistant professor at the department of urban and regional planning of Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET).