Unauthorised hoardings, unipoles and banners are spread across Noida and Greater Noida, but the authorities have not taken any action against them. This is despite both the cities having laid down policies for outdoor advertising.
According to officials, almost all the hoardings and banners installed along the roads in the twin cities are unauthorised. Flouting safety guidelines, even political parties put up such advertisement boards, endangering people on the roads.
OUTDOOR ADVERTISING POLICYDespite both Noida and Greater Noida having laid down policies, unauthorised banners continue to come up
Signage for the Budh International Circuit lies in tatters. On Monday, a person was killed and another injured after a roadside signage near Noida’s Sector 18 collapsed on them. (BURHAAN KINU/HT PHOTO)
- Under the old scheme, the Noida authority earned Rs 10 crore annually from selling advertising rights to unipoles and hoardings on the city’s roads
- According to Noida officials, the authority had come up with a new advertising policy because private firms were putting up unipoles that had a weak foundation and were set up on unsafe locations in terms of traffic and pedestrians
- In June 2013, commuters had a narrow escape when a huge hoarding of a developer collapsed on an arterial road connecting Noida and Greater Noida West (Noida Extension).
- Heavy duststorm and light rain had caused the hoarding to collapse. It also had a weak foundation
- The Noida authority has now formed a team of engineers who are inspecting the safety of the foundation of unipoles on the city’s roads
“The foundation structures of authorised hoardings or unipoles are approved by the authority for safety purposes. At present, there are only 91 unipoles on various roads in Noida. These will be removed by 2019. After that, no unipole will be allowed on the main roads of the city for safety reasons,” said BK Singh, senior project engineer, Noida authority.
A day after a roadside hoarding collapsed in Noida, killing one and critically injuring another, the Noida authority has formed a team of engineers who are inspecting the safety of the foundations of the city’s unipoles.
“If an authorised unipole has a weak foundation, it will be removed without any delay,” said Singh.
“On Tuesday, our team removed hoardings and banners from some areas. We have decided to lodge FIRs and take strict legal action against those whose hoardings or unipoles are found to have a weak foundation and thus pose a risk to motorists and pedestrians. In the next one week, the authority will remove all banners, unipoles and hoardings that are posing a danger to people on the roads,” he added.
In May 2015, the Noida authority had put into effect its new policy to regulate unauthorised hoardings and banners etc. The decision to come up with a new unipole policy was taken the same year after many unipoles lined up along the city’s main roads had fallen, injuring commuters and damaging several vehicles.
In Greater Noida, to regulate mushrooming unauthorised hoardings that often pose a hindrance to motorists, the authority had in March 2016 implemented its advertisement policy of 2015.
“We are removing all illegal advertisement boards and hoardings from the city’s roads. After that, we will allow authorised boards only at designated spots,” said a Greater Noida authority official.
Monday incident: Survivor’s family files police complaint
Meanwhile, the family of the survivor has submitted a written complaint against unidentified persons at the Sector 20 police station.
During Monday evening’s duststorm, a road signage of the Noida authority at Sector 18 fell on Munna Kumar and Pushpender. While Munna died on the spot, Pushpender survived with multiple injuries.
“We have given a written complaint at the police station against unidentified persons. Pushpender works as an AC fitting mechanic in Noida and was on his way to fix somebody’s AC when the incident occurred. He is in the ICU at Max hospital where the doctors said his condition is critical,” said Ranjit Kumar, Pushpender’s brother.
Pushpender hails from Etah area of UP while the deceased was from Bihar. Ranjit said Munna was in the same profession as Pushpender and they also worked together sometimes.
The police said they are yet to register an FIR in the case.
“We will probe into the matter. If required, a case of negligence will be registered against the culprits,” said Amarnath Yadav, station house officer, Sector 20 police station.
Munna’s family reached the mortuary to collect his body on Tuesday. One of his relatives, Babu Ram said, “He is survived by his wife and children. He was residing at a rented accommodation in Faridabad. We will be taking his body back our hometown Gopalganj to perform the last rites.”
The Noida authority has set up a committee to probe the incident while the district magistrate has asked the authority to send a team of engineers to check the structural strength of all the road signage in the city.