The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed seniormost officers in all municipal corporations/councils of Punjab and Haryana to submit their replies about whether any survey was ever carried out before allotting sites for hoardings and advertisements under their jurisdiction, especially by the roadside.
The court headed by justice Rajive Bhalla, however, said in its view, all cities should be hoarding-free as the hoardings, per se, were a distraction for drivers. The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, including a contempt petition filed by Gurgaon resident Bhupinder Singh.
Justice Bhalla also asked the authorities to explain in their replies as to what action they had taken to remove the illegal hoardings and what action was taken against officials who had violated the high court orders on the issue. The court said such hoardings beside roads and national highways were resulting in a number of accidents due to the drivers' distraction.
The court also directed all parties against whom contempt notices had been issued to file their replies by the next date of hearing. Justice Bhalla also said that it was utmost important to come up with some parameters for ensuring safety on roads and it became everyone's responsibility. The court made it clear that it was necessary to take action against officials who were violating the laid down parameters, so that others could also learn a lesson.
The court also said that except for necessary signages on the roads, no other hoardings or advertisements should be put up there.
The case would now come up for hearing on July 19.