Cutting across party lines, political leaders in Ludhiana may soon be summoned by the municipal corporation to discuss the issue of defacement due to illegal hoardings, especially political. Since political hoardings account for a major chunk of the illegal publicity material, the civic body has decided to discuss the issue with the political leaders.
The date for the meeting of MC officials with the councillors and MLAs of the city is yet to be finalised. Hoardings and billboards of religious and political in nature can be seen in every nook and corner of the city, causing distraction to the commuters, besides defacing the city. Illegal hoardings continue to stand tall despite high court's direction to the MC to take steps to get rid of the menace.
Defacement of public as well as private property is a crime under the defacement act. Several complaints were registered against leaders during the MC elections last year. During elections, the election commission takes note of defacement of public or private property due to publicity material.
Additional commissioner of MC, Isha Kalia, said that the defacement in Ludhiana had increased over the years and a need was felt to discuss the issue with the political parties.
“Although a date has not been fixed yet for the meeting, but we would definitely like to bring it to the notice of political leaders that illegal hoardings were a menace that needed to be curbed,” she said.
Sources said that the de3cision to hold a meeting with the political leaders was taken in a meeting recently in which senior civic body officers, including MC commissioner Rahul Tewari, were present.
Publicity material can even be seen fixed to unipoles illegally. The contract for advertisements on unipoles had ended a few months back and new tenders have not been floated yet.
Interestingly, the incident wherein a superintendent of MC was slapped by members of Valmiki community was the result of differences in opinion over the installation of a religious hoarding.