In another embarrassment to the Patiala municipal corporation (MC), the Punjab and Haryana high court has rejected its status report on illegal hoardings and appointed two court observers to check the ground reality and file a report.
The team will also visit Rajpura for the purpose and submit a report before the next hearing on January 22.
The court’s directions came as part of the ongoing hearings in respect to illegal hoardings, advertisements and encroachments under various municipalities in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
Just last month, the high court had come down heavily on the Patiala MC for failing to clear the city’s footpaths of encroachments.
According to the court orders dated January 15, the copy of which was made available on Monday, during the hearing, MC’s counsel contended that all illegal hoardings and violations pertaining to the Outdoor Advertisement Policy were removed.
But the petitioners, a group of NGOs, informed the court that the city was still dotted by illegal hoardings, ostensibly encouraged by MC staff, and the office of the deputy commissioner had also turned a blind eye to the menace.
In light of the submissions, the high court directed advocates Harish Mehla and Seema to visit Patiala and Rajpura as court commissioners and submit a status report.
Talking to HT, Harish said they would submit the fact-finding report before the high court by Friday.
Meanwhile, in anticipation of the court commissioners’ visit, staff from MC’s land branch has been going around the city to remove illegal hoardings.
DC orders removal of generators
Heading a meeting of the district road safety council, deputy commissioner Varun Roojam on Monday directed the MC to remove the diesel-run generators that had been set up in parking spaces and footpaths in Chhoti Baradari, city’s top commercial hub.
Roojam said the administration would confiscate the generators if they were not removed immediately.
“These generators have become a major public nuisance. The biggest casualty is the parking space, which already is a major concern in the city,” he added.
Several banks and commercial establishments are among the violators, who have already been issued show-cause notices by the MC.