Hoardings are likely to be permitted in Chennai city and other urban areas of Tamil Nadu, following a decision by the State government in an effort to improve the revenue of the civic bodies.
According to officials of the Greater Chennai Corporation, a Government Order has been passed under the Tamil Nadu Urban Local Bodies Act 2022 granting permission for the hoardings. “It is expected to be implemented in a few days,” a senior official said.
Following the formulation of an action plan to improve its income as part of the World Bank’s Chennai City Partnership and the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Greater Chennai Corporation had taken steps to identify its own sources of revenue.
A team of officials, led by Corporation Deputy Commissioner (Revenue and Finance) Vishu Mahajan, had come up with the plan to improve the finances of the civic body.
“We will get huge revenue once the government permits hoardings,” said an official.
Residents oppose move
Residents in many areas opposed the move to permit hoardings. T. Nagar resident V.S. Jayaraman said thegovernment should not permit hoardings inthe city.
“If it is for collection of revenue, let them collect property tax first. The risk of accidents is high. There have been accidents in the past involving pedestrians. Hoardings aredangerous and have the risk of falling on pedestrians,” he said.
Former IAS officer M.G. Devasahayam said the negative impact of hoardings outweighed the pros.
“Our roads already have many problems and hoardings will make them worse. When there is heavy wind and rain, the hoardings crash. People have died. They block the walkways and have several disadvantages,” he said.
K. Kumar, visiting faculty at the School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University and former chief planner of CMDA, said hoardings distract motorists.
Also, hoardings would affect the visibility on the road. “They don’t put up hoardings parallel to the road but in an angle to draw people’s attention. You are distracting me and it is wrong,” he says.
“There are no hoardings in major cities of other countries. They are an eyesore. The vista gives a kind of an attraction, enjoyment of the ride itself, that is the kind of visual enjoyment. But the visual intrusion of the hoardings will affect aesthetics,” he said.