Residents can complain on toll-free helpline

In what could be a humongous task, Chennai district election office has begun work on clearing political graffiti from compound walls.

On Friday, the election office asked political parties to remove graffiti on walls and began work on clearing such paintings on roads near Madras High Court.

The same day, the toll-free helpline 18004257012 received complaints on illegal graffiti in a number of localities.

Tondiarpet resident K. Baskaran, who reported defacement of walls on Tondiarpet High Road, stressed the need for removal of all graffiti on roads. “Officials are yet to remove paintings from walls in our locality. Inaction of officials may lead to law-and-order problems in residential localities,” he said.

According to instructions from the Election Commission of India, if local law does not expressly permit wall writing, pasting of posters, and other permanent/semi-permanent defacement which is not easily removable, the same shall not be resorted to, under any circumstance, even on the pretext of having obtained the consent of the owner of the property.

This will also apply in States where there is no local law on prevention of defacement of property.

The Chennai Corporation is likely to use its workers to remove such paintings from walls if parties fail to respond in time.

On Friday, the district election office held a meeting with representatives of nine recognised political parties on the model code of conduct which is in place. INC, DMK, DMDK and BSP participated in the meeting, officials said.

“Political graffiti on private walls is also banned in the State. Work on removing such graffiti from Corporation property is under way,” said an official of the district election office.

According to Tamil Nadu Open Places (Prevention of disfigurement) Act, 1959, graffiti on private walls is not permissible, said election officials.

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