New outdoor advertisement signage policy for New Delhi approved by court

For safety and against clutter and unlicensed outdoor signage


The Supreme Court of the country has approved the new outdoor advertisement policy formulated by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA). The new policy’s purported aim is to curb illegal hoardings, improving or ensuring road safety with less distraction for commuters and to give a neater look to the city of Delhi. Under the 2017 policy, advertisements will not be allowed in the national parks, historical monuments, world heritage areas and religious places.

The Supreme Court bench of Justices, MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta, directed expeditious implementation of the new policy framed by the EPCA, which suggested a ban on advertisements which distracted road commuters by promoting ‘nudity, racism, drugs, cruelty to animals or any kind of violence.’ The court also took note of the submissions of the amicus curiae who assisted the court, that hoardings on railway bridges, flyovers and foot-over bridges should be erected with great care for safety and to avoid visual clutter.

The court accepted the EPCA’s report suggesting that the city must have an approved policy for outdoor advertisements as lack of it or the lack of clarity led to huge irregularities and loss of revenue for the municipal agencies and safety issues for residents and the general public. “Sign boards should be non-reflective such that they do not flash or glare at drivers on the streets. They should not use reflective surfaces such as mirror foils as the use of such material is visually disruptive to traffic and can be hazardous to drivers,” the judgement said.

The court also said that no advertisement shall be erected, exhibited, fixed or retained “upon or over any land, building, wall, hoarding, frame, post or structure or upon or in any vehicle or shall be displayed within the jurisdiction of municipal corporations of Delhi or the New Delhi Municipal Council without written permission of the commissioner or the chairman of the respective body.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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