Today's Paper

Corporation to crack down on hoardings too

Karthik Subramanian

Civic agency to help tahsildars in the task from Monday

CHENNAI: Following the Madras High Court directive, the Chennai Collectorate and the Chennai Corporation are all set to come down on illegal advertisement hoardings.

The civic agency workers will help city tahsildars in bringing them down once they complete the ongoing drive against political graffiti and billboards on government buildings in accordance with the model code of conduct.

The decision was taken at a meeting of tahsildars and Corporation zonal officers at Ripon Buildings recently. None of the city's advertisement hoardings has a licence.

Neither the Chennai Corporation, which received applications for the licensing exercise in 2001 nor the Chennai Collectorate which took over the matter in 2003 has been able to complete the process because of a slew of court cases filed by hoarding owners.

A Supreme Court order in 2001 asked the Corporation to receive applications for issue of licence and maintain staus quo on new hoardings till the applications are disposed of.

The civic agency received 3,609 applications, including 582 in public places, 1,206 in private places and 304 on land belonging to the Railways.

It has since been maintained that all hoardings that came up in places other than the 3,609 places are illegal since they are in violation of the Supreme Court order.

Though the issue has been highlighted several times at Chennai Corporation council meetings and by residents welfare associations, government agencies have turned a blind eye to it.

Over 5,000 hoardings

It is estimated that the city now has more than 5,000 advertisement hoardings.

Traffic experts have pointed out many times that hoardings are responsible for several road accidents.