The Coimbatore Corporation removed from main roads and intersections on Friday large-sized cut-outs of political leaders stating that these hindered free flow of traffic.

Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra said he ordered the drive as roads laid recently in view of the World Classical Tamil Conference were getting damaged by the installation of the cut-outs.

Party functionaries in the district installed the cut-outs to welcome leaders. The Corporation removed these from the Chinthamani intersection at North Coimbatore, Saibaba Temple, Mettupalayam Road-Kamarajpuram Road intersection, the new bus stand on Mettupalayam Road and near the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation office on this road.

The cut-outs included those of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.

Members of a union affiliated to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam objected to the removal of a party leader's cut-out initially. But, they relented when Corporation officials explained the reason for the drive.

A cut-out of All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa nearby was also removed. The officials said that those who had installed the cut-outs took them away later.

Teams from the civic body removed on Thursday advertisement hoardings of textile and jewellery shops put up on Avanashi Road at Peelamedu.

Corporation officials also removed cables of satellite television service providers and internet service providers from the median on Tiruchi Road. “We had given them a lot of time to remove these,” he said, to explain why the civic body got into direct action on Friday.

The Commissioner said: “The basic objective is to keep the city clean for the conference. All unauthorised hoardings put up by private parties and also advertisements on walls displayed without permission will be removed.”

Mr. Mishra also asked companies to refrain from painting walls with their brands even if these structures were private property. “We have painted many walls and these firms have painted their image and slogans welcoming the Tamil conference. This is not allowed,” he said. “They cannot do this in the name of welcoming the conference.”

Advertisements in public places, including bus shelters, could be put up only through a process of bidding.

But, people were putting up advertisements on their own, without bidding for the space. This would be dealt with severely, Mr. Mishra said.

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