Tamil Nadu

Government seeks nod to erect banners for summit

Permission sought from High Court ahead of Modi-Xi meet in Mamallapuram

The State government has urged the Madras High Court to grant it permission to erect flex boards, at designated places and without causing any disturbance to the public, to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping for the summit at Mamallapuram near here on October 11 and 12.

Advocate General Vijay Narayan made a special mention before a Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and N. Seshasayee on Tuesday and obtained its nod for hearing the plea on Thursday, after due intimation to activist ‘Traffic’ K.R. Ramaswamy whose case against flex boards is pending in court.

Later in the day, Commissioner of Municipal Administration K. Baskaran filed an affidavit of undertaking in the court, on behalf of the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary, the Rural Development Secretary as well as the Director General of Police, and stated that he had been authorised to do so by the State government.

The affidavit stated that the government as well as local bodies had not given any permission to political parties to erect flex boards across the State ever since the court on December 19, 2018 passed an interim order disallowing them on a public interest litigation petition filed by Mr. Ramaswamy.

However, “whenever any head of State visits our country as part of bilateral relations or as a goodwill gesture of reciprocity, it is customary on the part of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, to welcome the visiting dignitary by way of welcome banners,” the commissioner said.

Stating that it was also a matter of courtesy on the part of the State government to welcome the foreign dignitary by erecting flex boards, Mr. Baskaran said the MoEA had proposed to put up flex boards at 14 locations in Chennai, nine on ECR and two at locations in Mamallapuram.

Similarly, the State government too, through the Directorate of Information and Public Relations, wanted to erect flex boards from Chennai airport to Mamallapuram — at five locations in the city, four in Mamallapuram and at seven locations on Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) as well as ECR.

Asserting that the flex boards would be erected only for five days, between October 9 and 13, the commissioner said that care would be taken to make sure that they were erected only on permanent structures and that safe as well as secure temporary structures would be raised only in the absence of permanent structures.

“The strictest standards of safety will be maintained,” he added and pointed out that there was no necessity on the part of the Centre or the State government to obtain a licence for erection of such flex boards on government land.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 5:05:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/government-seeks-nod-to-erect-banners-for-summit-permission-sought-from-high-court-ahead-of-modi-xi-meet-in-mamallapuram/article29570011.ece

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