As the municipal corporation (MC) is conducting a drive against the unauthorised hoardings and banners, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) accused the MC of being biased and selective in implementing the orders of Punjab and Haryana high court against illegal advertisements.
AAP district convener Ahbaab Singh Grewal accused the MC officials of harassing small and medium level traders, while totally ignoring the blatant abuse of the law by the big fish and advertising companies.
While the MC has gone to town tearing up small banners and advertisement on shops, which even caused the unfortunate death of a poor man recently, he claimed.
Grewal said, “The official dare not touch huge hoardings have been put up illegally by SCF owners and advertisement companies. These companies have added huge infrastructure along the national highway disregarding the high court's directives, while the MC and highway authorities don't touch these while hiding behind the technicalities. Such practices are causing a huge financial loss to the MC.”
“They are openly putting up advertisements on HP petrol pumps without paying taxes to the MC for the same,” he said.
AAP members demanded that the MC immediately ceases this selective targeting, and MC officials show the same zealousness in dealing with the powerful, who are the actual culprits and are causing huge financial losses by looting the public money.
It is required to mention here that the MC speeded up the drive against illegal hoardings after Punjab and Haryana high court had appointed the local commissioner to inspect the status of hoardings.
Contacted, MC additional commissioner Rishipal Singh said he does not know when the high court commissioner would visit, but they are removing illegal hoardings.
He denied allegations and claimed that they were following the directions of high court. He said the MC was not responsible if the illegal hoardings were being installed outside MC jurisdiction.