Sticking posters at the roadsides would soon attract severe punishment. Concerned with the mushrooming of all kinds of posters and banners all over the city, defacing the walls and public places, the Delhi government on Wednesday decided that it would bring a tough law to punish the offenders.
The Urban Development Department has prepared the "Delhi Defacement of Public Property Bill, 2007" which will replace a similar Act of West Bengal as applicable to Delhi. The Cabinet would go through the Bill and then it would be introduced in the Delhi Assembly in the next session.
The new Bill has stringent provisions. A maximum fine of Rs 50,000 and a maximum imprisonment of one year have been proposed. At present, the fine is a maximum of Rs 1,000 and the punishment is merely one month. Moreover, the Act is hardly applied with any sincerity in the city and no one has been punished in the last two years.
Urban Development Minister AK Walia told Reporters, "Delhi cannot be beautified unless the ugly looking posters become a thing of the past. We will now hold monthly meeting to review what action has been taken to remove the posters and banners from the city walls and public places.
For those, in the habit of sticking posters, mainly the political parties, the government has identified 266 places all over the city as poster display sites for non-commercial posters.
These would be uniform display boards with 15 feet in length and 5 feet broad. These would be placed two and a half feet above the ground level to provide enough visibility to the person passing on the street.
The Delhi Traffic Police gave its nod to these 266 places while rejecting some other possible sites. While 87 boards would be installed in the PWD area, 149 would be in the MCD area and another 30 in the jurisdiction of NDMC.
Meanwhile, Walia issued instructions to all the Departments concerned to implement the existing West Bengal Defacement Act in true spirit to book defaulters.
"Habitual defaulters and big fishes would not be allowed to go scot free," said Walia.