Viewpoint: Ban'king on court order always

The court has already banned use of pictures of living person on banners and hoardings.

With the Madras high court this week pulling up authorities for not taking action against erection of illegal digital banners for several years, instances of violation were also highlighted. The court has already banned use of pictures of living person on banners and hoardings.

Despite such stringent orders, towering cut-outs of politicians and actors continue to be part of the local culture. Repeated petitions filed by activist Traffic Ramaswamy in the Madras high court have also failed to evoke positive response in the state.

Political parties blatantly defy court order and erect banners and flex boards of their leaders on arterial roads, hindering movement of traffic and blocking footpaths.

The court, in one of its observations, had gone to the extent of saying that authorities, who should implement and adhere to the law, become subservient to political parties and don’t take action out of fear or otherwise. In had also directed them that if they come across such violations, they must not hesitate to handle such violators with an iron hand.

The court had insisted that authorities concerned ensure a clean atmosphere is maintained and avoid unnecessary drawings on walls of buildings or residential places.

Such illegal banners have claimed lives and injured people. In 2017, Ragupathy, a software engineer from the US, died in Coimbatore after his bike crashed into the illegal wooden hoarding put up by a political party. He fell off his bike and a truck ran over him. It was only after his death, a petition was filed and the HC ordered removal of illegal hoardings there.

Just last month near Villupuram, a giant cutout of a popular Tamil movie star collapsed injuring the fans doing paal abhishekam.

Besides, unauthorised huge advertisement hoardings reportedly dot several places like GST road, OMR and ECR posing threat to life of motorists.

With the ban more honoured in the breach than the observance, it is unlikely that Chennai skyline will be free of illegal hoardings in the near future.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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