Illegal hoardings continue to deface royal city

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Nov 27, 2014 22:09 IST

Turning a deaf ear to orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court, those who have installed illegal hoardings and banners across the district are having a field day.

The SAD-BJP leaders are the front runners in violating the orders as the city can be seen dotted with billboards, hoardings and posters with congratulatory messages for newly-appointed president of Youth Akali Dal Harpal Juneja, who is also a councillor from Patiala.

Though this is not a new trend, defacement of public and private property across the city seems to have become a regular practice with political leaders.

The Patiala municipal corporation and district administration have turned a blind eye to the menace of billboards which have been installed not only in main market areas but also on the highways.

The hoardings with Juneja's picture along with other leaders have been put up at Leela Bhawan, Fountain Chowk, Patiala-Rajpura road, Sirhind Road, Bus Stand Road and in the satellite towns of Samana, Patra, Nabha and Rajpura in violation of civic norms.

It may be mentioned that deputy commissioner Varun Roojam had recently passed orders to remove illegal flexes, boards and hoardings from the main round-abouts, roads and public places, but nothing concrete has been done so far.

Sources in the civic body say the illegal hoardings installed by Juneja's supporters were removed by the officials but his supporters re-installed them at the same spots.

"If the councillor himself is indulging in such acts, how can the civic body punish other violators?" said one of the officials.

Meanwhile, the newly formulated advertisement policy of the Patiala municipal corporation is yet to see the light of the day as the government has not passed any notification till date, even though the body had forwarded the case for its final nod two months ago.

Joint commissioner Nazar Singh said the illegal hoardings were removed from time to time.

"I will look into the matter and the illegal hoardings and posters will be removed at the earliest," he said.

He added, "We are waiting for the formal notification of the advertisement policy. Once the government passes it, we will tighten the noose against the defaulters."

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