It has been found that there are more than 300 unauthorised hoardings

The district administration has formed special teams to remove all illegal advertisement hoardings displayed in and around Madurai and its peripheries, officials said. Following complaints that there were many illegal and unauthorised hoardings put up, the officials were instructed to take stock of them recently.

In the process of enumeration, it was found that many advertisements displayed on central medians, bus stop shelters and atop high rise buildings do not have proper sanction from the authorities as per the Tamil Nadu Urban Hoardings Act. The number of such hoardings was put at above 300 within the city and other places.

The officials said that except for two private agencies engaged in the advertisement hoarding business, others have not obtained or applied for permission seeking licence from the District Collector, which is mandatory as per the laws.

According to the TN Urban Local Bodies Licensing of Hoardings and Levy and Collection of Advertisement Tax Rules, 2003, a plan of the hoarding to be erected indicating the height and other dimensions and the material proposed to be used as approved by a qualified engineer and other details had to be mentioned clearly while seeking license/sanction. Similarly, such approved hoardings shall be erected only parallel to the foot path or road and not across the footpath or road margin. The District Collector, who is the licensing authority, has also the powers to cancel the hoardings that had violated the norms.

About three months ago, a meeting was conducted chaired by District Collector Anshul Mishra and Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa. It was then proposed to remove all illegal hoardings jointly by the revenue and Corporation authorities. However, nothing seemed to be working since then, revenue officials said.

When contacted, District Collector Anshul Mishra told The Hindu on Wednesday that teams have been formed to remove the illegal advertisement hoardings.

A Corporation official, on condition of anonymity, admitted that they had not taken any steps to remove the illegal hoardings, which were spotted in Maatuthavani, Periyar and Arapalayam bus stands and among other places.

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