Chandigarh MC serves only notices in name of action | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh MC serves only notices in name of action

The municipal corporation’s notice to Chandigarh Police on June 24 with regard to illegal advertisements on barricades and police beat boxes is likely to end up as a fruitless exercise yet again going by the civic body’s past record.

punjab Updated: Jun 27, 2016 16:17 IST
Hillary Victor
Markets across the city are full of illegal hoardings and other publicity material, yet little is done to remove them.
Markets across the city are full of illegal hoardings and other publicity material, yet little is done to remove them.(HT Photo)

The municipal corporation’s notice to Chandigarh Police on June 24 with regard to illegal advertisements on barricades and police beat boxes is likely to end up as a fruitless exercise yet again going by the civic body’s past record.

Over the past three years, the MC has failed to rein in the menace of illegal advertisements in the city. The civic body didn’t go beyond issuing notices to the violations.

Under the advertisement control order 1954, the MC is empowered to remove illegal advertisement material and issue challans. However, the civic body seems to have turned a blind eye to illegal advertisements in the city over the years.

A large number of traffic barricades in the city carry advertisements though the civic body never approved them. The practice is in vogue for years, but the MC did not bother to act.

Also, markets are full of illegal advertisements in banners, flex boards put up by traders and private companies. The civic body will earn crores of rupees if it gets paid for the publicity material.

TARDY ACTION AGAINST POLITICAL PARTIES

Two months after the municipal corporation formed a three-member committee to ‘review’ the Rs 1.8-crore fine assessed against the Punjab BJP for erecting illegal hoardings and banners in Sector 37 on April 12 this year, MC joint commissioner Varinder Chaudhary has again asked the members to give their views. Interestingly, no notice has been issued to the Punjab BJP till now.

On September 16, 2015, the then MC commissioner Bhawana Garg had issued a notice to Punjab Youth Congress to deposit Rs 67 lakh for using the civic body land to display posters and banners without permission. Now the case has been referred to the UT estate officer for the recovery under land arrear Act. The Youth Congress had put up illegal hoardings and banners at the Sectors 15/16 roundabout and the road dividing Sectors 11 and 25.

1,300 NOTICES, NOT A PENNY REALISED IN FINE

The MC issued more than 1,300 notices with assessment of Rs 12 crore as fine for putting up hoardings and banners illegally in the last two years. On August 4, 2015, the finance secretary accorded permission to recover the amount, but the MC, to date, has not even issued a letter to the district magistrate, seeking recovery.

RS 2.3-CRORE NOTICE TO ELANTE

In February last year, the municipal corporation served a Rs 2.36-crore notice on the Elante mall owners for displaying advertisement material on its walls.

The fine was assessed for display of the hoardings illegally for six months, beginning November 2013. As per the notice, the fine was to be deposited in a month’s time, failing which the civic body would move court. But, the MC has failed to realise the fine.

“We are following the cases and will take action as per the land revenue Act. Our counsels are on the job. We conduct drives to remove illegal publicity material,” said Varinder Chaudhary, MC joint commissioner.