60% space on signboards should be in Kannada: Bengaluru civic body

Kannada, signboards, municipality, Karnataka, Bengaluru
The Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1961, too mandates that the name on board of any commercial establishment should have Kannada as the major language. Photo: iStock

Ahead of Karnataka Rajyotsava (formation day) on November 1, Bengaluru’s civic body has asked all commercial establishments to give prominence to Kannada language on their display boards – at least 60% of signboard space – or risk losing their trade licences.

As per the order, commercial establishments have to ensure that 60% of the writing on signboards are in Kannada while the remaining space can be allotted to English or other languages. The Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1961, too mandates that the name on board of any commercial establishment should have Kannada as the major language.

Speaking to The Federal, Bengaluru’s newly-appointed mayor Gautam Kumar Jain said the civic body’s decision comes at a time when Kannada language is facing neglect by people in a cosmopolitan city like Bengaluru.

The move, reportedly, comes in the backdrop of the Kannada Development Authority urging the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to implement such a policy.

“The establishments will have to upload the image of the signboards while applying for trade licence online. This will enable us to track them well,” Jain said.

While it is too short a notice for the establishments, the mayor said BBMP will give more time to change neon signboards, the timeframe of which is yet to be announced. The deadline to put Kannada on their display boards, however, will be November 1.

The municipality which had issued a similar order last year had issued notices to 3,681 shops and collected fines after conducting raids on shops that didn’t adhere to the rules.