Temporary flex boards are permitted only after obtaining a ‘no objection' certificate

Chennai Corporation and the city police on Saturday launched a drive to remove flex boards and banners that were erected by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in various parts of the city.

According to officials, after hundreds of flex boards on a few roads had been removed a few weeks ago by the Chennai Corporation, a number of banners were put up on Friday night to celebrate the birthday of former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on June 3.

Most of the banners removed were reportedly erected without obtaining a ‘no objection certificate' of the Chennai Corporation on roads such as Radhakrishnan Salai, Anna Salai and E.V.K. Sampath Salai and surrounding areas.

Temporary flex boards are permitted by the Chennai Collectorate for a stipulated period of time only after obtaining a ‘no objection' certificate from land-owning agencies such as the Chennai Corporation. However, many of the structures, that are hastily put-up banners on wooden frames, started reappearing in various parts of the city on Friday night.

“We took action according to the instructions we received after a meeting of the Chennai Collector and the Corporation Commissioner a few weeks ago. The meeting was organised at Ripon Buildings to sort out issues about the identification of illegal flex boards and hoardings,” an official told The Hindu.

In April 2008, the Supreme Court upheld the Madras High Court's order, banning illegal and hazardous hoardings in Tamil Nadu. Following this, the Chennai Collectorate directed the Chennai Corporation to remove thousands of hoardings classified as illegal.

According to Act No. 51 issued by the Municipal Administration Department, hoardings cannot be placed near schools, colleges, hospitals, at road junctions, or near heritage structures.

With such stringent conditions, no hoardings can come up anywhere in the city. All other states permit hoardings in a controlled manner. Even though most of the large banners measuring 25 ft long and 20 ft high were removed, a few small boards were spared.

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