The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday asked senior officers of Punjab and Haryana to act against those who installed illegal hoardings and other advertisements in public places.
During the hearing of a contempt of court petition on the installation of illegal advertisements in public places, the high court made it clear to officers that it would take them to task if such hoardings were not removed.
"If you are threatened by politicians/advertisers, come to the court. You will have our full protection," the HC bench said, while asking the officers to establish designated sites for such hoardings so that the government gets revenue and public places' beauty is not marred.
The HC directed the Punjab government to decide within a fortnight on the bylaws on advertisements in public places, submitted by the Amritsar municipal corporation. It also directed the state government to clear state and national highways of illegal hoardings.
Besides, the local bodies of Pathankot, SAS Nagar, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Faridkot and Dera Bassi have been asked to tell the HC on the next date of hearing (February 20) whether they had carried out surveys to identify locations for the installation of hoardings and other such advertisements in public places.
The HC also issued a notice to the local bodies of Zirakpur and Dera Bassi to inform the court as to why they had allowed a large number of illegal hoardings along national and state highways under their jurisdiction. The SAS Nagar district administration, under which both local bodies fall, have been asked to file a separate reply on the same.
Reply of Sonepat, Panipat DCs sought
The HC asked the local bodies of Rai, Murthal, Panipat and Gharonda, and the deputy commissioners (DCs) of Sonepat and Panipat to get all illegal hoardings along the Delhi-Ambala national highway removed and also sought a reply from them on the next date of hearing. As nobody was present in the court on behalf of the Kurukshetra MC, the head of the local body has been asked to remain present. The Hisar MC has also been told to file a reply to why it had allowed the installation of illegal hoardings under its jurisdiction.
The HC told the Ambala municipal corporation to carry out a survey to identify places where hoardings could be allowed and also issued a notice to the cantonment board, Ambala, to tell the court on the next date of hearing as to why it had allowed illegal hoardings in its area of jurisdiction along the national highway.