Ad hoardings removed from 3 Mohali foot overbridges
The municipal corporation has removed advertisement hoardings from three foot overbridges (FOBs) in the city in line with the Punjab government’s new advertisement policy banning any such displays on any structure within a 100-metre radius of a traffic signal.
All the three FOBs are situated in close proximity of the traffic signals at Phase 7-3B1 crossing, Chawla Hospital crossing and Phase 3B1-5 crossing.
“We have to follow the government policy as human safety is more important,” said MC commissioner Kamal Kumar Garg.
Locals, however, question the move, saying the advertisements helped the MC garner revenues of Rs 90 lakh annually and that the FOBs, built nine years ago, were being used for drinking and gambling activities and not by pedestrians.
Most of the FOBs were littered with empty liquor bottles and used paper plates with stale food , with people gathering at some spots to drink and play cards.
“So much money was wasted on the FOBs, but now drug addicts and alcoholics are the only ones using them,” said CL Garg, president of the Confederation of Greater Mohali Residents’ Welfare Associations, the apex body of 65 RWAs.
From 2011 the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) spent more than Rs 2 crore on building four FOBs for managing pedestrian traffic, most of them in disuse now.
In May 2016, the Punjab and Haryana high court had directed GMADA not to invest in installation of escalators/elevators at FOBs. “We could have asked you to dismantle it (the FOBs). But you have spent so much of money. But let’s not invest more as it is of no use,” the high court bench observed .
The decision to build the FOBs was taken at a meeting chaired by former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, for better development and upgrading basic amenities in Mohali.