Salem Collector J. Chandrakumar has urged the political parties to follow the ‘political culture of Gujarat’ where the ‘hoarding culture,’ which is all-pervasive in Tamil Nadu and especially in Salem, does not exist.
Seeking the support of all political parties including the ruling DMK on the issue of regularizing and implementing the Madras High Court’s guidelines on hoardings, the Collector pointed out that Gujarat, according to media reports, was totally devoid of posters and hoardings thus sporting a healthy look while in Salem, the hoardings especially the flex boards, had erupted like rashes all over the places such as roads, National Highways, traffic junctions, ‘round-tanas’ and other available spaces.
Dismissing the fears of the representatives of DMDK party, which is hosting a conference on January 9 at Salem, that the District administration with an ulterior motive had convened the meeting on hoardings, Mr. Chandrakumar said that they need not harbour any such “unfounded apprehensions” since the party itself had already erected hundreds of such hoardings, which remained undisturbed.
“We will have to remove hoardings of all political parties and others if they are found to have violated the guidelines,” he said.
Parties such as AIADMK and DMDK targeted the ruling DMK and charged the administration had remained a mute witness to the blatant violations while erecting flex boards.
“It should be removed and regulated,” they urged. CPI demanded that no political party should be permitted to damage roads and also called for a ban on massive arches on narrow roads such as Tiruchi Road, leading to the DMDK conference venue.
DMDK functionaries insisted that they would put up boards if other parties continued to put up boards. DMK men said they would remove all hoardings that would cause inconvenience to the public.
Police Commissioner Sunilkumar Singh said that law would be strictly enforced and all unauthorized hoardings would be removed as per the relevant laws.
Asking the parties to come to a consensus on the burning issue, he said that City Police had already taken a survey on such boards and based on which action would be initiated after getting the necessary approval from the Collector.
“Here there is no bias. It is better late than never approach and hence we are pursuing this,” he said.
The administration had declared areas of Asthampatti Junction, Five Roads Junction, Collectorate Complex, Super Speciality Hospital and Salem Corporation in Salem city had been declared as ‘sterile zones’ where the erection of flex hoardings would be banned.
Salem Mayor J. Rekha Priyadarshini, District Revenue Officer V. Kalai Arasi, Deputy Commissioners of Police S. Baskaran and K Ravindran and other senior officials took part while representatives from DMK, AIADMK, DMDK, PMK, Congress, CPI, CPI (M) and BJP and other parties participated.
Source: THE HINDU