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UP civic bodies need to revisit policies on LCDs, hoardings to conform to road safety rules

The newly elected civic bodies in Uttar Pradesh may need to revisit on priority their policies for setting up LCDs or hoardings if they wish to conform to road safety rules as provided by the Indian Road Congress.

lucknow Updated: Dec 06, 2017 16:03 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh,Civic bodies,Road safety
The Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) appears to have taken the lead in violating the road safety code as it allowed setting up of LCD screens on both sides of Lohia Path in Lucknow.(HT Photo)

The newly elected civic bodies in Uttar Pradesh may need to revisit on priority their policies for setting up LCDs or hoardings if they wish to conform to road safety rules as provided by the Indian Road Congress (IRC).

The Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) appears to have taken the lead in violating the road safety code as it allowed setting up of LCD screens on both sides of Lohia Path in the state capital. It appears to be going slow on removing the LCD screens despite directives from the state’s public works department.

“Yes, I have heard about the letter from the Public Works Department (PWD). I have asked officers to put this letter before me. We will look into it,” said Lucknow municipal commissioner Udai Raj Singh when asked about the action taken by the LMC on the PWD’s letter for removal of LCD screens.

The PWD on November 29, 2017 had given the LMC a week’s time to remove the LCD screens and admitted that the screens had been installed on foot overbridge (FOB) without its knowledge and in violation of the IRC’s safety code.

The PWD’s action had come following the state government’s swift action, seeking an explanation from the PWD engineer-in-chief on Hindustan Times news report ‘Digital screens distracting commuter?” appearing on November 28, 2017.

VK Singh, the engineer-in chief of PWD, in his reply to PWD special secretary Raj Shekhar had referred to HT’s news report and admitted that the display screens were objectionable in respect to the IRC’s road safety code. “LCD screens (installed on both sides of Lohia Path) may cause distraction to drivers and thus may lead to possibility of accidents. The LCD screens on the foot overbridge are objectionable in accordance to clause 3.1.1 (6), 3.11 (8) and 3.1.2 (a) of the Indian Road Congress’s code (IRC-46-1972). You are therefore requested to remove the LCD in a week from the foot over bridge near the mall on Lohia Path and inform this office of the action taken,” said Jay Singh, executive engineer (Prantiya Khand) PWD in a letter dated November 29, 2017 sent to municipal commissioner Lucknow Nagar Nigam.

Asked whether the LMC’s policy conformed to road safety standards, the municipal commissioner said: “We are going to study policies of other states too as we look into the PWD’s letter on the issue.”

Read more| LCD screens: Lucknow Municipal Corporation to seek legal opinion

In its order dated November 20, 1997, the Supreme Court had reiterated that the safety of road users was paramount. As per the SC order, the hazardous hoardings, which are disturbance to traffic movement, are those which are visible to traffic on the road. A policy for outdoor advertising was thereafter formed in Delhi. An official spokesman said the Uttar Pradesh government had not formulated any such policy. The Delhi policy says: “An advertising device may be considered a traffic hazard “if it interferes with road safety or traffic efficiency….distracts a driver at a critical point and is a dangerous obstruction to road or other infrastructure, traffic, pedestrians, cyclists or other road users.”

First Published: Dec 06, 2017 16:03 IST