In most cases, there are no penal action taken against those placing these on pavements and road margins.
“Last month, I lodged a complaint about a hoarding being placed at the entrance to our lane in Venkatraman Canal Street in Perambur, as it was blocking the view while taking a right turn to enter Perambur High Road. After the complaint, it was removed. But now, another one has been placed at the same location,” said Raghu Kumar, a resident of Perambur.
Though political parties are often cited as the culprits, residents pointed out that there are hoardings and banners by private companies and even individuals. What makes the situation worse is, these advertisement boards are not removed even after the event for which they are erected get over.
“Huge billboards made of wooden frame and flex banners are placed on the main road. As these are not removed within the scheduled time, that get torn and the waste remains on the roads itself. All these add to the traffic congestion,” said Anil Awasthi, another Perambur resident.
Pedestrians are worst affected as footpaths are taken over by these. Residents complained that they risk injury while negotiating these hoardings, as there are sharp pieces of wood and metal rods jutting out, especially after the flex sheets are damaged over time.
Though the harried residents and motorists take up the matter with the civic authorities periodically, these hindrances remain, with no lasting solution in sight. “The hoardings are removed when residents raise complaints. But they again resurface, with no one stopping these companies and individuals. The authorities should ensure some long-term solution to this problem,” said another resident.
According to the Indian Road Congress guidelines, which were adopted by the Tamil Nadu Urban Local Bodies Licensing of Hoardings and Levy and Collection of Advertisement Tax Rules, 2003, advertisements are not be permitted within 100 metre of any road junction and within 50 metre of any traffic sign board. Taking this into account, the Madras High Court had banned billboards and banners from junctions two years ago.
In most cases, there are no penal action taken against those placing these on pavements and road margins. Due to this, even if one board is removed, another one pops at in the same spot within days. When contacted, the civic authorities said that the appropriate action would be taken based on the complaints raised by the residents.