After a hiatus, flex board culture returns to Tiruchi

Flex boards erected along Tiruchi-Dindigul Road at Karumandapam in Tiruchi.

Flex boards erected along Tiruchi-Dindigul Road at Karumandapam in Tiruchi.

After a gap of a few months, the practice of erecting flex boards and hoardings has returned to the city.

Acting on a batch of public interest litigation petitions in December 2018, the Madras High Court had restrained political parties and public forums from erecting digital banners or placards on either side of arterial roads, platforms, walkways and any other road throughout the State. The order was passed on the ground that the publicity materials tend to divert the attention of the road users thereby causing accidents.

Except on a few occasions, almost all political parties, including the AIADMK, which was the ruling party then, and the DMK adhered to the order. Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, shortly after assuming office in May 2021, directed his party men to refrain from the practice. He discouraged party men from erecting banners to welcome him. When he visited Tiruchi for an official function recently, he ensured that none of his party men displayed digital banners.

However, the practice has once returned to the city with the cadre of a few political parties putting up banners and festoons. Though the cadre of many parties indulge in the practice here and there, it is alleged that the rank and file of the DMK has taken a lead in erecting flex boards.

With the elections to urban local bodies are round the corner, it is said that the district and ward level functionaries of the DMK mainly resort to the practice to gain attention of K.N. Nehru, Minister for Municipal Administration, and Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi, Minister for School Education, so as to secure the party’s nomination to the ward member posts.

There are complaints that the party men fix lengthy flexes on the walls of private and public buildings without permission. They remain there for several weeks, leading to criticism by cadre of other political parties, who claim that they cannot find space even to put up posters.

Similarly, the party men also prefer to erect banners, featuring their leaders, for functions such as marriage, house warming, ear boring, birthdays and other social gatherings. Erection of flex boards on pathways and platforms is causing concern to road users, walkers and motorists. Some of them pose danger to pedestrians.

A large number of flex boards were erected by a DMK functionary on Tiruchi-Dindigul Road at Karumandapam for a family function on Monday.

“It is a matter of serious concern as we often tend to get distracted by noticing flex boards on the roadside. It seems that law enforcers do not bother to check the menace,” said M. Jayakumar, a resident of Karumandapam.

When contacted, Collector S. Sivarasu said he had received a few complaints on erection of flex boards in public places. He would soon convene a meeting with the officials concerned. Action would be taken against violators.

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Printable version | May 21, 2022 7:39:56 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/after-a-hiatus-flex-board-culture-returns-to-tiruchi/article38286933.ece