Manmohan, Sonia to top billboard charts, literally! | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Manmohan, Sonia to top billboard charts, literally!

When you are driving down the national highway, don't be surprised if the pictures of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi pop up every 25 km or so.

delhi Updated: Jan 07, 2010 00:32 IST

When you are driving down the national highway, don't be surprised if the pictures of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi pop up every 25 km or so.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to put up nearly 1,500 such billboards.

The NHAI has already issued a circular to all its project directors regarding this. The boards will be of size 20 feet (horizontal) x 10 feet (vertical).

Replying to a Right to Information (RTI) application of activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the NHAI said a total of 1,488 such billboards will be erected.

To be set up at a distance of every 25 km, the billboards will be on both sides alternatively in English, Hindi and the local language.

282 such boards will line up national highways in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Jharkhand, 249 in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana, 214 in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, 170 in Andhra Pradesh, 126 in Maharashtra and Goa, 120 in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, 108 in West Bengal and Orissa, and 91 in Karnataka and Kerala.

In Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh 70 such billboards are planned and 58 in Assam and other northeastern states.

However, the contractors and not the NHAI will pick up the tab for putting up such boards.

"It is more likely that neither Prime Minister Manmohan Singh nor Congress chief Sonia Gandhi may be aware of such plans as the decision might have been taken at some junior level," Agrawal said.

"But photo-publicity of political rulers and other living personalities, including through media advertisements should be altogether banned to prevent misuse of public money for image-projection of leaders for political purposes," Agrawal told IANS.

Besides the pictures, the boards will have the project related information, including the names of the project, the concessionaire and the supervision engineer, date of start of the project, date of completion, cost of the project, the name and telephone number of the project director.