Corporate giants to feel SMC heat over ‘defacing Srinagar’

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jun 25, 2014 15:54 IST

After turning the city red with promotional wall paintings, not even sparing graveyards, the government has decided to take action against six corporate giants for “defacing Srinagar and carrying out illegally advertising to the tunes of four crore rupees”.

Municipal magistrate Khursheed-ul-Islam on Monday said four companies — Cemtac Cements, Aircel and Dishnet Wireless Limited — were allegedly prima facie found committing offences under sections 115, 116 and 302 (vi) of the J&K Municipal Corporation Act, which is illegal promotional activities and defacement.

The court has summoned corporate offices on July 1.

The court’s direction came after the Srinagar municpal corporation (SMC) found hundreds of shop shutters, several kilometres of private and public walls painted by the top notch corporate giants.

“Even graveyards were not spared in the city. The corporate giants, including Airtel, Aircel, Idea and Khyber Cements, have set up kiosks and painted walls in the city without permission,” said Manzoor Ahmad Tarray, SMC chief revenue officer.

“This has incurred losses worth Rs 4 core to the SMC,” he added.

A SMC spokesman said it was observed that big companies such as Airtel, Aircel, Idea and Khyber Cements had painted private and government buildings “illegally” to advertise their products/brands. “The wall paintings by the companies on shop fronts are also violation to the provisions of the J&K Defacement of Public Property Act 1985,” said the spokesman.

The SMC warns companies against setting up advertisements in violation of the advertisement policy sanctioned by the government under which all advertisements are to be carried out with proper permission of the authorities and the SMC, which is assigned to designate hoarding sites in Srinagar against proper fee.

“The SMC has decided to clampdown on such companies which are causing inconvenience to people, defacement of walls and illegal pasting of advertisements. It is incumbent on the companies to show self-restraint and stop the practice,”said GN Qasba SMC commissioner.

“In case of violations, the SMC is bound to penalise the companies and take stern action, including imprisonment as per the provisions,” he added.

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