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From December, Bengaluru Shopkeepers May Lose Their Licenses for Not Putting up Signboards in Kannada

This was to be implemented by November 1 when the state celebrated Karanataka Rajyostava. However, the Bengaluru city Mayor Gautam Kumar gave an extension till November 30.

Stacy Pereira | CNN-News18

Updated:November 20, 2019, 7:14 PM IST
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From December, Bengaluru Shopkeepers May Lose Their Licenses for Not Putting up Signboards in Kannada
(Photo for representation)

Bengaluru: Over 13,000 shops in Bengaluru were served notices by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP), city’s municipal body, for not having display boards in Kannada language. They have been given a deadline of November 30 to have Kannada on their boards, after which they will lose their licenses.

According to the BBMP's Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging By-law 2018, all businesses were asked to have their name-boards with 60% lettering in Kannada, while the rest 40% can be in any language of their choice. This was to be implemented by November 1 when the state celebrated Karanataka Rajyostava. However, the Bengaluru city Mayor Gautam Kumar gave an extension till November 30.

"We have already notified that 60% of the boards should be in Kannada language. If they don’t change it, their license will be cancelled. Even new establishments won't be issued trade licenses. There won't be any kind of penalty, but we will be cancelling their trade license," Kumar said.

From BBMP statistics, only 7,734 of the 20,689 shops have complied with the norms on using Kannada. Less than 40 per cent of the shops have fallen in line so far. Off the 13,572 shops that were issued notices 4,155 are in the South Zone.

The Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), however, says implementing this will be difficult. "The BBMP should focus on filling potholes rather than going after traders and industry. They must understand the practical difficulties that most of us are facing because of the slowdown,” CR Janardhana, president FKCCI, said and called for an extension in the deadline.

Giving Kannada prominence through signage has been a long-pending demand and was suggested by the Kannada Development Authority as well. The Health Department of the BBMP will now inspect these shops and establishments and will be tasked with checking for compliance and thereafter action taken in case of violations.

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