New outdoor advertisement signage policy for New Delhi approved by court

New outdoor advertisement signage policy for New Delhi approved by court

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.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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