The efforts of municipal corporation (MC) to remove surrogate advertisement hoardings or signage fail to yield any results in absence of any initiative from shopkeepers.
With such advertisements being illegal under the Ludhiana Outdoor Advertisement Bylaws 2014, the MC on September 17 had directed traders to remove them within a week. But around a month later, traders remain defiant and the illegal advertisements can be seen at thousands of shops in the city.
Even, the civic body has failed to follow up with the over 600 violators that it had challaned.
According to the new bylaws, a shop owner can display the name of his or her shop, but cannot promote a brand by displaying its advertisements along with it. When HT spoke to some violators, they feigned ignorance about any directions.
Simranpal Singh, who runs a departmental store in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, claimed that he was not aware about the directions, adding that the authorities should first announce the norms clearly in public instead of issuing challans. Several shopkeepers have also demanded that the MC officials insert a print of these bylaws with the electricity bills or other solutions to spread awareness.
When contacted, MC additional commissioner Rishipal Singh said, “We have issued 600 challans to the violators. These challans will be presented before the court that will decide the extent of fine.”
He added that shop owners should start removing these boards themselves to avoid further action. “We have also issued notices in newspapers and highlighted the bylaws on MC's official website,” Singh added.
The MC created awareness among shopkeepers to remove encroachments and unauthorised advertisement boards in Model Town on Saturday.
Interestingly, the team led by assistant commissioner Satwant Singh also found kin of MC superintendent Naveen Malhotra encroaching upon the road in front of a shop.
Singh said the MC official’s kin were advised to refrain from sending a wrong message to other vendors and were asked to shift the articles inside the shop.
Tehbazari wing superintendent Jasdev Singh Sekhon said shopkeepers were sensitised towards the inconvenience caused to visitors due to encroachments and pamphlets were also distributed.
MC officials said if the shopkeepers failed to pay heed to their appeals, requisite action would be taken.