With authorities keen on passing the buck on the removal of illegal hoardings in Kapurthala, there seems no end to the increasing number of such hoardings.
The police and municipal authorities have failed to take any action against advertisers, who have flooded the city with illegal hoardings in gross violation of Punjab Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1997.
Illegal hoardings have been installed in front of city police station and even Shalimar Bagh, the office of municipal council Kapurthala.
Kapurthala Social Forum, sponsored by M/s Parkash Cloth House, has put an illegal hoarding outside the police station. Ironically, it asks residents to obey traffic rules. Another hoarding on the Right to Information Act has been put by another social organisation, the Human Rights Press Club.
Outside the Shalimar Bagh, a hoarding sponsored by owners of Milan Palace and Resorts has been set up. The 2nd hoarding carries pictures of different personalities of the city, including chief editor of a Hindi daily, Sheetal Vij.
Along the boundary wall of the city police station, hoardings have been put up by Bahujan Samaj Party (Ambedkar) carrying photographs of party president Devi Das Nahar. Another hoarding greets Bhagwan Vaalmiki and carries pictures of present chairman of district planning committee Sarabjeet Makkar.
The latest addition to these illegal hoardings is the hoarding put up by Bahujan Samaj party informing its workers about the birthday celebrations of former Uttar Pardesh Chief Minister and party president Mayawati.
When contacted BSP (Ambedkar) President Devi Das Nahar, clarified, "It is not a fault on the part of advertisers. Municipal council authorities have failed to specify the places where hoardings could be put. People then started putting up the hoardings at their wish. I have asked my workers to remove the hoarding carrying my picture."
When contacted, Parkash Bathla, the owner of M/s Parkash Bathla House and Jasvir Singh, owner of Milan Palace and Resorts, said that they were not aware of the places where the hoardings had been installed.
"I was approached by an NGO and they asked me to donate money for installing hoardings on traffic awareness. I just gave them some money as donation," said Bathla.
Jasvir Singh said: "Thank you for bringing the issue to my notice. I will now ensure that the hoarding is removed."
Speaking on the MC's failure in removing the illegal hoardings, executive engineer, municipal council SK Aggarwal said, "Our staff members has been working on removing the illegal hoardings over many days. However, these keep mushrooming. Sometimes, looking at the religious sentiments, we ignore such hoardings. However, defacement cannot be allowed."
Municipal council president Paramjeet Singh said, "On the Jalandhar pattern, we will chalk out a policy to notify places where the hoardings can be put up. The issue will be discussed in the next meeting of the house."
Kapurthala SSP Inderbir Singh said, "I will check and will ensure action against violators of the law."
When reminded by the reporter that on December 29, the photographs of illegal hoardings were sent to him by mail on his official mail id, as desired by him at that time, he said, "I failed to check the mails. I will do so today and take action."