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Hoardings, the ugly side of polls

delhi Updated: Oct 13, 2008 23:42 IST
Neelam Pandey
Neelam Pandey
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Ahead of Delhi Assembly elections, illegal hoardings have sprung up all over the city.

But this could have been easily avoided had the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) paid heed to its own proposal.

The civic agency was supposed to come up with designated spaces wherein all these posters of politicians that are currently splashed across the traffic islands and footpaths could have been pasted. The civic body is yet to develop

these sites.

Municipal Commissioner K.S. Mehra admitted that such designated spaces were to be created but have been delayed.

“The spaces are in the process of being created but it will take some more time,” added Mehra.

Several hoardings have also come up in the New Delhi Municipal Council area.

According to an MCD official, deputy commissioners of each zone were supposed to create designated spaces for such informal advertising in their jurisdiction.

“During elections or festival time, local leaders wish public through the medium of posters. However, the way it was being done had turned the city into an ugly mess. Hence, specific areas were earmarked such as at railway stations, residential colonies, near cinema halls frequented mostly by people. But after that nothing much has been done in this regard,” said a senior MCD official.

The civic agency had earmarked 150 sites, recommended by the Delhi traffic police, for putting up social, cultural, religious and political advertisements free of cost.

The civic agency’s Remunerative Project Cell that is responsible for removing hoardings has been facing acute shortage of staff. They have around nine field inspectors to do the job of removing hoardings in 12 zones.

Almost a year has passed since the Supreme Court approved Delhi’s new advertising policy, but illegal hoardings continue to flourish across the city.

Under the policy, big hoardings can be erected only at a distance of 75 metres from a traffic light.

“Our field staff continue to remove these hoardings but they are back in no time,” added the official.