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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

NHAI ‘turns blind eye’ to illegal political hoardings on highways

Sat Singh, Hindustan Times   Rohtak, August 18, 2014
First Published: 23:23 IST(18/8/2014) | Last Updated: 07:26 IST(19/8/2014)

While three rallies conducted by political parties — one at Mahendergarh and two in Jind district — in last four days kept people in the poll-bound state busy, illegal hoardings on highways enroute the rally venues did not attract attention of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).

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On August 14, right from Rohtak till Mahendergarh, there was hardly any town without big-sized hoardings installed in the middle of road welcoming Bharatiya Janata Party national president Amit Shah to Haryana. While a large number of hoardings and banners were erected in the middle and on the sides of roads by ticket aspirants who want to prove their worth in the eyes of the top BJP leader, equally disturbing were the makeshift gates stretched above the road.

Main chowks and roads in different directions at Mahendergarh were dotted with flexes, banners and hoardings, which require prior permission from municipal corporation or council for installation.

Similarly, for the August-16 rally at Jind where Rajya Sabha MP Birender Singh joined the BJP in the presence of party chief Amit Shah, road from Rohtak to Jind via Lakhan Majra and Julana was dotted with advertisements displayed by supporters of the veteran Jat leader.

On August 17 also, supporters of Haryana Lokhit Party, Gopal Kanda showed their loyalty to him by erecting hoardings to invite people to rally venue. A while later, his rivals stretched hoardings demanding justice for Geetika Sharma, as Kanda had been booked in an abetment to suicide case by a Delhi court last year.

Admitting the prevalence of illegal hoardings on national highways, NHAI CJM Uday Raj said they have not permitted anyone to violate the norms and that they are against any such illegal installation of advertisements by political parties.

He suggested HT to ask the same question to deputy commissioner, who, he said, had given permission to install hoardings.

Deputy commissioner Amit Agrawal could not be contacted on his mobile phone.

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