The Chandigarh administration considers itself above rules, it seems, as it put up more than 30 hoardings on the central verges of some prominent roads where display of any kind of publicity material is prohibited.
The roads where the hoardings were put up on Wednesday evening were Jan Marg, Madhya Marg (V-1), Dakshin Marg (V-2) and Sukhna Path (V-3).
Interestingly, the municipal corporation detected the violations and started removing the hoardings on Thursday evening, but the civic body staff was forced to stop the drive midway by the officials of the UT administration.
The cultural affairs department of the UT administration put up hoardings on the streetlights for the three-day Chandigarh Theatre Festival beginning from September 25 at Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, Chandigarh.
The UT administration’s own orders prohibit any kind of display of publicity material on V-1, V-2, V-3 roads.
The orders were issued around a decade back by the then finance secretary.
On Thursday evening, when the MC officials began the drive to remove the hoardings, the UT administration requested them not to do so.
A senior officer of the MC said, “The drive has been stopped as UT administration officers requested us not to remove the hoardings.”
City mayor Poonam Sharma said, “I will hold an inquiry into this as it is a serious matter. How can UT administration put up hoardings at places where they are prohibited?”
Even after repeated attempts, director of cultural affairs Amandeep Kaur could not be contacted.
On September 16, the MC commissioner, Bhawana Garg, had issued a notice to Punjab Youth Congress to deposit Rs 67 lakh for using the civic body land to display posters and banners without permission.
On the other hand, the MC has found no wrong in BJP putting party flags and banners across the city during the Prime Minister’s visit to Chandigarh on September 11.
The MC issued the notice to the Punjab Youth Congress on September 14 for putting illegal hoardings and banners at the Sectors 15/16 roundabout and the road dividing Sectors 11 and 25. A copy of the notice had also been marked to district magistrate for initiating criminal proceedings against the youth wing of the Congress. Even notices were issued to a number of student leaders of the Panjab University for putting up banners and defacing property.