Illegal advertisement boards at shops
The Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) seems to have adopting a pick-and-choose policy when it comes to issuing notices to showrooms and shops for displaying illegal advertisement hoardings/signages on their roofs and wallspunjab Updated: Jan 30, 2014 10:20 IST
The Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) seems to have adopting a pick-and-choose policy when it comes to issuing notices to showrooms and shops for displaying illegal advertisement hoardings/signages on their roofs and walls. On Wednesday, the MC issued showcause notices to the owners of only a few showrooms, even though the entire city is flooded with illegal advertisement boards.
Information gathered independently by HT shows that there are nearly 100 illegal advertisement hoardings or signages in every sector. However, so far, the MC has issued notices to only about 100 violators and asked them pay a fine of `100 a day as advertisement fee with effect from six months of the issue date of the notices, and further directed them to remove the boards. The practice of displaying illegal advertisement hoardings/signages has been going on without any hindrance for two decades now. In the past also, notices have been issued, but no concrete step taken to recover dues. The notices do not mention any penalty charges or interest amount, though, under the UT Advertisement Control Order of 1954, there is a provision of heavy penalty and interest in addition to the assessed amount.
It has also come to light that showroom owners charge heavy monthly rentals for the advertisements.Speaking to HT, MC joint commissioner Rajeev Gupta said they had issued notices to violators in Sectors 20, 22 and 35, and Manimajra. "We will hold a drive in the entire city and make sure it is free from this menace." Asked why the MC was only charging advertisement fee for only the past six months, he said, "We got this approval from UT finance secretary. We will issue notices to others violators also. As far as the recovery of amount is concerned, we will approach the court for recovery."
Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga described advertisement boards on shops as "visual pollution". "The problem is that MC issues notices with an exorbitant penalty. Because of this, the exercise is futile, as neither the MC is able to collect any revenue nor does the violator pays anything," he said.
"Such advertisements have been on display at petrol pumps for several years, but the MC has never questioned them," he said. "Similarly is the case for advertisements displayed and pasted on Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses, but the UT administration is not charging any advertisement fee from the contractor," he added.
MC does not follow up Notices
Arvind Jain, the president of Chandigarh-based Vyapar Sadan, said the problem was that the MC did not do a follow-up after issuing notices to violators. "In most cases, violators approach the officers concerned and succeed in getting the dues waived. The officers, later, keep the files under wraps for several years.