THE MADHYA Pradesh High Court has directed the district administration and Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) to remove hoardings, which are dangerous, cause traffic obstructions or hamper the beauty of the City.
Referring to the death of a person, when a hoarding fell on him in 10 No Market in November 2004, the High Court said human life was more precious than the monetary gains from advertisements.
After the High Court order, district administration and BMC will launch a drive to remove dangerous hoardings from the City. District Collector S K Mishra also held a meeting on Tuesday in this regard and issued directives to BMC administration.
While rejecting an appeal filed by advertising companies, the High Court on November 4 issued directives to remove hoardings which were dangerous or caused obstruction to traffic. Advertising companies had filed an appeal in the High Court after district court rejected their plea against the BMC, which had begun removing hoardings from some places.
Advertising companies pleaded they were given rights by the BMC through a contract to install the hoardings from April 2004 to March 2007. Thus, these hoardings should not be removed. Earlier, the High Court had granted a stay on this issue. However, it rejected the appeal on November 4.
While rejecting this appeal, the HC observed, “It is the duty enjoined upon the respondents (BMC and the State Government) to ensure that human life is not jeopardised under the guise of commercial gain by putting hoardings/ advertisement board at objectionable or hazardous places; even for protecting the beauty of the City the removal of hoardings is permissible”.
The HC also said BMC was free to take action to remove hoardings that were bigger than permissible size or those found hazardous to public safety. The HC also directed BMC to refund fee to those advertising companies whose hoardings were removed.
The district Collector and BMC Commissioner have been asked to submit a compliance report to the court on November 24. S K Mishra also held a meeting on Tuesday with BMC and police officials. Meanwhile, BMC Commissioner Manish Singh said BMC has identified over 300 hoardings, which are dangerous and creating traffic hazards. Dangerous hoardings installed on top of buildings are also being identified.