One year imprisonment, fine for those behind illegal hoardings in TN

Chennai: Taking a serious view on the illegal banners row, the Tamilnadu government has decided to initiate strict action against those who erect such structures.

According to reports, persons who erect banners by violating the rules of the Madras High Court and Tamilnadu government will be awarded one year jail sentence and fine. It is learnt that a circular has been sent to all districts asking the administrations to launch a crackdown on the banner culture.

On Friday, the High Court rapped government officials for failing to implement the ban on banners, posters and hoardings on roads.

This came a day after Subhashri Ravi (23) of Chrompet lost her life after a banner erected on a medium at Pallikaranai fell on her throwing her off her two-wheeler, and a water tanker lorry which was behind her ran over her.

Her death led to an outrage over illegal hoardings being put by political parties, despite them causing inconvenience and posing a threat to people’s safety. Hearing a plea on the matter yesterday, the MHC took a tough stand against illegal hoardings and wondered “how many more litres of blood the state government needs to paint the roads with.”

The court asked all party leaders to ask their party members to not erect banners or hoardings for their political events. Following the court direction, District Collectors issued guidelines to Corporation officials and Revenue Officials regarding this.

As per the order, people are not allowed to erect banner, posters, digital banners on roads, highways, streets or on pavements.

Sources said, Administrative officials will convene a district level meeting of party leaders, owners or representatives of printing units to create awareness on the law and its implications. It is said that officials who fail to make the implementation will face disciplinary action.

Following the death of Subhashri, banners and posters in the city are being removed. The tanker driver was arrested for rash and negligent driving and a case has been registered against him.

Police filed an FIR against the AIADMK functionary who erected the banner and action would be taken as per law, the Chennai Corporation said, adding the printing unit which brought out the hoarding has been sealed. The hoarding was put up without obtaining permission from civic authorities by the local AIADMK functionary for his son’s wedding at a hall near Pallikaranai. AIADMK top leaders O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami, the Deputy Chief Minister and Chief Minister, respectively, asked party workers to stop erecting banners inconveniencing people, for party events or family functions.

DMK chief M K Stalin warned his partymen that the party would take action against them if hoardings or banners were put up, inconveniencing the public. He also made it clear that he would not take part in party events if banners or hoardings were erected that may be hazardous to the people.

NT Bureau