Illegal hoardings of heritage festival come up in Patiala

Illegal hoardings of heritage festival come up in Patiala

Ravneet Singh

Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 20

Following political hoardings, illegally bill boards related to the heritage festival and crafts mela, which will begin from Saturday, have come up on road sides in the city. Hoardings have been affixed illegally by government offices ignoring the Punjab municipal outdoor advertising policy.

The Municipal Corporation (MC) has failed to check the menace as per the Punjab municipal outdoor advertising policy implemented and notified by the Department of Local Bodies. The policy aimed at ensuring road safety and working for city aesthetics, notified in 2018, is applicable to all urban local bodies (ULBs) across the state.

Premised on the fact that outdoor advertisements do bring revenue to the city, the policy’s motive is to discourage visual clutter and inconvenience to drivers.

The ULBs are responsible for ensuring strict compliance with all provisions of the policy, failing which strict action can be initiated against officials concerned, including levy of penalty.

Importantly, an advertisement regulatory committee comprising representatives from the offices of SDM, Commissioner and XEN (PWD), traffic police, ULB advertisement branch in-charge and others are responsible for the strict compliance of the policy provisions.

According to the policy, no leniency is to be shown towards any violator during the removal of unauthorised device. Insiders say political hoarding go unscathed time and again.

“Officials of the MC instantly act against and collect fines for advertisements put up by private business owners. Most steel framed advertisements, including sign, flex and billboards affixed by political parties and leaders go unnoticed. They are removed with reluctance and no chalan is issued against them,” said an MC official

When contacted, Municipal Commissioner Poonamdeep Kaur, who is also nodal officer of the heritage festival, said, “These hoardings are only publicity material for the heritage festival. These will be removed in a few days. Illegal hoardings come up in the city throughout the year.”

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