Coimbatore Corporation has issued a directive asking the advertisers to remove unauthorised hoardings on or before February 15 or else face legal action. Corporation Commissioner (in-charge) S. Sivarasu said that those failing to remove the unauthorised hoardings will be liable for legal action under Section 410 (1) of the Corporation Act and will have to undergo imprisonment and pay a penalty.

The release added that to avoid legal action, the advertisers should come forward and remove all the hoardings before Friday. The same is applicable to advertisement agencies, who had erected the hoardings, land owners who had permitted the same and companies that had gone in for hoardings.

According to the release, there had been hoardings along the government and private buildings, telephone exchanges, theatres, commercial complexes, highways, railway premises and even along bridges and flyovers. These hoardings are illuminated using powerful lights distracting the attention of the motorists. In fact, the permitting authority M. Karunagaran, District Collector has ordered for a crackdown and has directed all government departments and local bodies to ensure compliance.

Inquiries revealed that at present permission is being granted for putting up only temporary hoardings ranging from one to 10 days relating to events being organised across the city.

Even by conservative estimates, a little more than 600 hoardings are unauthorised and there are only 900 hoardings with permission. The administration is also taking efforts to fight a pending litigation before the court filed by the advertisers and get the advertisements on roadside pavements and Race Course area removed. In future administration is mulling a proposal to have parks, lawns and roundabouts besides pavements given to corporate houses for maintenance as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility with just a board indicating their contribution to city’s beautification.

In the event of the advertisers not removing the hoardings, the civic body is gearing up for removing them and for recovering the cost of removal from the advertisers, an official said.

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