Save the livelihood of 10,000 families sign now

Save Mumbai Hoardings

Save the livelihood of 10,000 families

Save the character of our city

We want a Times Square and a Picaddily Street here...allow us to make it happen.

Dear Mumbaikar,

There is a pending ban and severe curtailing of the hoarding industry that is being contemplated by authorities in power at the BMC. Hence, as members of the association who bring you this lively medium, we believe it is your right to know the real issues and how this affects all of us?

At the outset let us clarify that we are pro-regulation of all mediums and as every other citizen in Mumbai, we would love our city to look beautiful and be counted among the best cities in the world.

Then why are we opposing BMC new guidelines?


This is a perfectly legal trade. There is not even one illegal hoarding in Mumbai. This business has been in existence since the since pre-independence era.

Hoardings have been installed with due permission and approvals from BMC, societies etc. This fact has been misrepresented in the proposed draft of the new guidelines.

However, we are not being treated like a legal trade. We probably are being treated as good as unlicensed hawkers and illegal slum dwellers. Even they also get rehabilitation, alternate source of income etc.

#Exclusion of the only directly affected party

* We have not been involved in the framing of these draft guidelines. Since we are the only ones to be directly affected by the guidelines, it is part of a natural democratic process that we are involved in the development of these guidelines as has rightly been done in the past.

* This is the primary reason we believe the drafting of these biased guidelines has been done in a haste to suit a certain purpose and not really for the reasons as stated in the said draft.

#Apparent Bias

* With no hoardings in the city the only fixed outdoors media are bus shelters-the rights of which are with just one firm (awarded without a tender for a duration of 15 years). Also, while other hoarding media are being removed, these bus shelters are being given the permission to increase their size and other media are also being proposed in public spaces like footpaths that will in fact fuel clutter thereby not really beautifying the city and also compromise public safety. Why the differential treatment?

#Autocracy of the Additional Municipal Commissioner (AMC)

* Although the proposed guidelines are open to public feedback till September 10, 2007 the AMC has already issued a circular internally on August 9, 2007 to reject all new proposals that do not follow the new proposed guidelines. Considering that the public notice inviting feedback to the draft guidelines was published in Times of India on August 10, 2007, you will appreciate why we feel we are being bullied and being dictated to.

If the AMC has pre-decided that these guidelines will become the by-law, then why the farce?

#Why the rush?

This whole process is being unusually rushed. This matter is currently sub-judice. There is no need to revise guidelines at this stage.

This is the 3rd revision of guidelines in the last 12 years. There seems to be a rush in which this is being implemented.

I am sure we would all unanimously agree that BMC definitely has more significant and calling civic issues to deal with. In a recent report, it has been stated as ineffective relative to other civic bodies in India in implementing important and urgent civic projects under JNNURM.

So in the wake of such severe issues, whats the big rush to remove hoardings? How will a Mumbaikar benefit? Does she want good roads and sanitation quickly or better hoardings?

Probably the right question isfor whose benefit is this actually being done for?

#How will it actually affect those involved in the hoarding business?

There will be more than 10,000 families affected because of these guidelines.

In Mumbai, 12 wards are the ones that are in demand for hoardings, 5 of which do not have permissions for hoardings anymore.

Since the remuneration for almost everyone involved in the trade works on the basis of square feet of advertising space, the proposed guidelines will bring down the size of the hoardings to non-standardized sizes. This will affect the hoarding visibility, value and salability which in turn will bring down everyones income per hoarding to one-fourth of their current income.

Simultaneously, the income of the bus shelter owning Media Company will go up by 400\%, as there will be no competition in the prime Mumbai areas.


A hoarding typically takes about 4-5 years to recover the investment made into it.

Hoarding owners have already entered into long-term agreements with societies. The draft guidelines wanting to implement this from April 2008 will affect those agreements. Both parties may suffer.

Having no ammortization period is not fair.


Collectively societies will lose over Rs. 20 crores in revenue. This income helps maintain these buildings.

Those who will be more severely affected will be the older age group that does not earn any income currently, as they will not be able to afford the upkeep of the place.

There are some great examples of how housing societies have benefited from hoarding agencies. In Bandra East, Gandhi Nagar, a building was repaired completely and painted by using the advance paid by the outdoor media company. Today, the media company stands to loose because of this sudden decision!


Printers have heavily invested in printing technology for large format printing used in hoardings. This machinery costs a few crores. They will suffer huge losses.


These are illiterate but skilled workers who earn purely on a rate per sq. ft. basis. These are individuals who defy laws of nature in ensuring the business deadlines and the medium owners always meet commitments. Individual owners insure their lives, families, however they purely depend on the sq. ft. they work on. Any reduction will only further impact their livelihood.

Further, the proposed guidelines provided alternate media options that will not need / require these mounters but will surely make them redundant.


NGOs such as TG Trust, NAB Workshop etc and many hospitals rely on income through hoardings to fund their charitable activities and help subsidize services.

#BMC itself

The BMC will lose Rs. 50 crores at least in revenues. Considering the cost of running this operation in under Rs 1 crore, this means a significant loss of revenue for the BMC.

What is surprising is that MCGM, is claiming, incorrectly, the amount of revenue loss to be Rs 30 crores. They have conveniently and deliberately not included the ground rents on their properties, the assessment tax and service taxes collected by them. Their own budget provisions for the year 2007-8 indicate about Rs. 50 crores of revenue

Besides licence fees, the hoarding owners contribute significantly via assessment taxes, ground rents, service taxes, among others to the authorities.

Also, there are several areas including gardens, landscapes etc that are directly maintained by us advertisers saving the authorities their valuable spends and time.

#A citizen of Mumbai

Any loss of revenue will mean lesser money to spend on essential civic amenities or more taxes to the common man.

Additionally, can you imagine Mumbai city without hoardings? This is an outstanding medium. Almost every prominent newspaper has taken birth on the hoarding. The city will lose a key element of its character. And we all know that there is no business city in the world that has banned the medium completely.

Imagine no more of an Amul Butter ad deriving humour from serious topical issues.

No colour, no vibrancy, no resonance, no pride. No larger than life film star talking to you as you drive by, no more feeling of aspiration, no more spice; nothing to communicate the magic in this city. Nothing to give raise hope that anything is possible.

Some myths that wed like to shatter

#Terrace hoardings causing leakage and making buildings weak

*This is untrue. A BMC engineer has to approve each hoarding that is put on the terrace and only once has it passed all tests is it allowed to display messages
* It was the BMC who through its earlier guideline had suggested terrace hoardings and it was followed by the industry.
* An NOC is required from the society in order to install a terrace.
* The current guidelines are adequate to ensure that terraces and the building are safe in all scenarios. In fact, the hoarding owners submit structural stability certificates both for the hoardings as well as the building, on which the hoarding is installed, every two (2) years to the corporation.

#Tree-cutting to accommodate hoardings

* As per current BMC guidelines, no permission is given to hoardings that want to come up between trees. This is adequate enough to ensure the safety of trees.
* The members of the hoarding business are very conscious of the ecology and environment. It has never attempted to cut trees or upset the ecological balance. In fact many maintain gardens.
* As a medium owner, we buy a window in the sky. We pay a lot of money in taxes and charges to the BMC and societies respectively so that our advertisers message is seen. It is therefore the sole responsibility of the landowner to ensure that window is kept clear for all to see.
* Even if we take it upon ourselves to trim these branches, any permission requests applied for to the BMC to trim branches etc have never been met.
* Additionally, from a safety perspective, it is only prudent to ensure trees are trimmed, especially before monsoons so that they do not get uprooted because of the combination of the weight of the tree and the loose soil it attempts to hold onto.
* Also why does trimming trees attract so much attention. As a comparison, the print media is known to take away 70\% of the forests.

#Heritage properties are affected

* Following the earlier Supreme Court judgement, there are no hoardings in front of heritage structures anymore. This is a non-issue right now.
* Also, dont you think heritage structures should not only be maintained from the outside but also from the inside? Can we take a check of such heritage structures that are being maintained? Lets start with the BMC building.

#Hoardings are cluttered

* Hoarding owners do not dictate where they ought to put hoardings. MCGM permits the hoardings. To repeat, NOT A SINGLE HOARDING IN MUMBAI IS ILLEGAL
* It is the privilege and the responsibility of BMC to allocate that space. If there have been cases that violate such norms, the authorities must take those few to task instead of passing a sweeping order that affects the whole trade.
* As per the new guideline, Mumbai will now have backlit media at a height of 7 to 10 feet on key footpaths at a distance of 10 to 15 meters, which will bring the clutter down to ground zero.
* Current guidelines are adequate and implementation of current guidelines will help manage the problem
* Nonetheless, we appreciate the need for a beautiful Mumbai and have been working pro-actively on this issue from a while now. Members of our association have visited large cities across the world including New York, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney etc to figure out how we could beautify this medium and city.
* We have also retained the services of an expert to help design hoardings that help make the look of the hoarding attractive.
* The proposed hoarding designs are available with Mumbai Hoarding Owners Association. Anyone is free to pick a copy of the presentation on a CD from Mumbai Hoarding Owners Associations office at a nominal administrative charge of Rs. 50.

#Hoardings cause accidents

* There have been no accidents registered on account of hoardings. In the past 60 years the number of hoardings that have fallen are 5. And that, my dear friends, has been due to the wrath, sheer power of nature which nobody can challenge. In fact there are buildings without hoardings, Laxmi Chaya (Borivali) is testimony to this.)
* There have, however, been many accidents (and a lot of them fatal) due to potholes and bad infrastructure.

Frankly, we believe this whole hoarding issue is being given so much prominence for
a) To divert the attention of the public from the administrative failures of MCGM
b) To favour one or two media owners.

Of course, Mumbai needs better looking hoardings for which the association has already submitted designs to enhance the look & feel of structures to international levels. The authorities have refused to give the industry a hearing. It would, however, be better if we can start with better roads, better sanitation, better waste disposal, better education, better and safer housing, better water supply, better health services.

We request you to kindly oppose the ban. Your support will help the industry to overcome this threat to its existence.

We look forward to your support

Best regards
Mumbai Hoarding Owners Association.

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Latest Signatures

  • 17 December 2015700. Vikram A
    completely agree with the petition. City; Zip Code New Delhi - 1100 20
  • 09 December 2015699. Neelam L
    Banned is unjustified and un-called for. Totally a political move. City; Zip Code Mumbai 400001
  • 07 December 2015698. Harsha Shah
    I support this petition
  • 04 December 2015697. Nandlal P
    i am Mr.nandlal pardeshi .staying in mahalaxmi.i Raed the public notice dated 10/08/07.many people depends upon that proffessoin..if this advertising compay will closed,many people or workers becames unemployed please think about that later. I request to
  • 04 December 2015696. Altafkhan Lara
    save hoardings City; Zip Code 400 008
  • 18 November 2015695. Naman K
    I support this petition
  • 16 November 2015694. Shailesh G
    I support this petition
  • 13 November 2015693. Geeta K
    I support this petition
  • 05 November 2015692. Pratiksha Flores
    I support this petition
  • 29 October 2015691. Sunil S
    I support this petition
  • 27 October 2015690. Satish Fleming
    yes there should not be any banned on hoardings coz it is not a matter of making mumbai clean and beautifull the hoardings some where are not in better condition we can repair the same and maintain it time to time so that it may cause no damage any our br
  • 18 October 2015689. Bharat K
    I support this petition
  • 13 October 2015688. Ashay M
    municipal roads have vecome an eye-soar and not hoardings!!! City; Zip Code 400064
  • 29 September 2015687. Rajesh T
    Let BMC crack the basics first, and leave the billboards apart. I think BMC should move like an army to address more graver and pressing issues than focussing on removal of a few billboards. City; Zip Code Mumbai, 400011.
  • 29 September 2015686. Irshad C
    I support this petition
  • 29 September 2015685. Pooja C
    I support this petition
  • 16 September 2015684. Ms Sheetalb
    I support this petition
  • 13 September 2015683. S N
    This is the time for the industry to come together and form a self regulating authority. This will go a long way in preempting adhoc measures. The Print and TV media industry is a good example of this City; Zip Code 400011
  • 12 September 2015682. Kunal P
    10000? should be much more City; Zip Code 400085
  • 09 September 2015681. Imran S
    Mumbai Needs Billboards City; Zip Code 400050
  • 08 September 2015680. Vaibhav Ponce
    I support this petition
  • 04 September 2015679. Samanta K
    I support this petition
  • 02 September 2015678. Rajesh G
    I support this petition
  • 24 August 2015677. Navin P
    I support this petition
  • 18 August 2015676. Shannal Lyons
    I support this petition
  • 15 August 2015675. Veena P
    I support this petition
  • 12 August 2015674. Anoop Marquez
    I support this petition

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Citizens of Mumbai


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