Operation to be conducted on daily basis
The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s anti-encroachment department has started stripping signboards, hoardings, and banners from the central and east districts.
The operation, which will be conducted on a daily basis, is being led by KMC senior director Bashir Siddiqui. On Saturday, advertisements in New Karachi, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Gulberg, and North Karachi were removed.
In the east, KMC teams removed advertisement boards from poles, service roads, footpaths, and bridges in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Sharae Faisal, Sindhi Muslim, and Shahrah-e-Qaideen.
The development comes after KMC Metropolitan Commissioner Afzal Zaidi issued a letter earlier this week. He has instructed all district municipal corporations to remove advertisement signboards, streamers, and panaflex from main roads, greenbelts, and poles.
All these properties belong to the KMC, Zaidi stressed.
Earlier, in September 2019, council members of the corporation passed a resolution demanding the removal of advertisement boards.
In 2014, there were over 3,000 billboards in Karachi with 140 on the strip from Hotel Metropole to Gora Qabristan on Shahrah-e-Faisal that earned the cantonment at least Rs250 million a year. It is a lucrative business.
But ever since the Supreme Court’s crackdown in 2015, advertisers got creative and started using walls. Billboard sites are auctioned by KMC and cantonments for yearly contracts. Advertisers erect billboards and then marketing companies rent them.