HYDERABAD: The Defacement Act has been completely ignored in the city despite the High Court’s directions and Municipal Administration and Urban Development minister K.T. Rama Rao’s instructions. A large number of hoardings and flexi can be seen erected across the city, but the corporation officials have not booked any cases on violators nor have they removed them.
The High Court had already given clear instructions to the corporation regarding a ban on hoardings by political parties. Besides the court, K T Rama Rao on several occasions anno-unced that defacement of properties would be dealt with seriously from January by enforcing the Prevention of the Disfigurement of Open Places and Prohibition of Obscene and Objection-able Posters and Advertisements Act, 1997, since the government was firm on keeping the city clean.
He urged political parties not to erect flexis, banners, posters and cutouts in public areas and to follow the provisions of the Act and the order of the High Court also. The minister at times has taken GHMC officials to task and even booked cases on his own party cadres.
Following the instructions of the MA&UD minister, GHMC earlier this year levied a Rs 50,000 penalty on TRS corporator Sunaritha Reddy, while former corporator M.D. Aslam Pasha was fined Rs 25,000. The High Court on February 24, 2015, had instructed political parties not to put up flexis, hoardings and banners at public places. It had also directed the GHMC to ensure that all hoardings were removed, and also asked it to impose penalties on violators.
In January last year, the civic body adopted the Defacement of Public and Private Properties Act in order to improve the appearance of the city and its structures. The Act made it illegal to deface or write on walls and to put up unauthorized hoardings, flexi- boards, banners or cut-outs of political leaders.
Over enthusiastic TRS party cadres and other aspirants conveniently violated the defacement act and erected flexi-boards, banners and other billboards hailing their own leader. More than 10,000 violations can be spotted across the city. However, the GHMC has been a mute spectator to the violations. When asked about booking cases on the violators and action taken to pull down the hoardings, the official concerned refused to comment.