Billboards dot Patiala, civic body turns blind eye

Billboards dot Patiala, civic body turns blind eye

Illegally affixed billboards near the CM’s residence in Patiala Tribune photo: Rajesh Sachar

Ravneet Singh

Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 8

The Municipal Corporation (MC) is yet to remove the billboards, which were affixed by political parties in view of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the city as part of ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’.

The billboards put up at various places, including outside the Chief Minister’s residence and Fountain Chowk, have not been removed. Also, the MC is undecided over the affixation of advertisement material put up at light points by the police department, which is prohibited under the outdoor advertisement policy.

Joint Commissioner Avikesh Gupta said, “We will remove billboards and challans will also be issued.”

Nearly 10 billboards and standees were put up on the roadside near the CM’s residence in violation of the municipal outdoor advertisement policy.

Residents questioned if the rules were supposed to be implemented for them only. A passer-by said, “The MC takes action against private organisations and businesses only and not against the billboards carrying photographs of political leaders.”

The MC has also not acted over an LED display affixed at Leela Bhawan Chowk light point by the district traffic police to educate commuters regarding Covid-19. The outdoor advertisement policy states that an advertisement device may be considered a traffic hazard if it interferes with the effectiveness of a traffic control device, a traffic light stop or give way sign. It also states that large format advertisements fixed on billboards, advertising devices, including LED and LCD screens, are not permitted within 10 metres of any traffic red light erected for regulation of traffic.

While MC officials said they had not provided any permission to the police to do the same, Joint Commissioner Avikesh Gupta said, “We are checking the policy on the above issue.” 

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