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Flouting SC order, hoardings dot roads

Ad hoardings have come up on roads in Delhi despite a December 1997 SC order, reports Amitabh Shukla.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2006 18:01 IST

Nine years after the Supreme Court banned hoardings on the city streets, they are back with a bang. Unlike the order on sealing, this court order is being flouted with impunity.

Five big hoardings have come up on Vikas Marg on both sides of the Yamuna river in the last few days. Another two have come up at Maduban Chowk on the same road recently.

Several other stretches of the city in outer and east Delhi too have witnessed a mushrooming of advertisements, some of which are brightly illuminated, thus diverting attention of the drivers.

The SC order in December 1997 banned all advertisement hoardings in Delhi as it felt that the alarming rate of road accidents was partially due to the distractions posed to the drivers. More than 2000 big hoardings all across the city were pulled down then following the apex court orders.

When contacted, Delhi Urban Development Minister AK Walia said that the department was writing to the MCD to find out how huge hoardings have sprung up in violation of the court orders. "We would not permit this if any rule has been violated," Walia said.

Government officials said some unscrupulous advertising agencies have a nexus with the MCD officials as big money is involved in the exercise.

"Some of the advertisers have even managed to get stay orders from the lower courts," said a senior official. He said the government was in the process of finding out on what pretext have the stay orders being taken. Initial inquiry has revealed that the advertising agencies have claimed that the Railways or the UP government own the land on which the hoardings are installed.

The illegal hoardings have come in the way of the plan of Delhi government to designate special places for advertisements. "We are working on a plan wherein uniform and aesthetically designed boxes would be installed in all parts of the city for advertisements and pasting posters," added Walia.


First Published: Nov 12, 2006 17:38 IST