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LED ‘trap’ in steel city

Jamshedpur, Feb. 18: An LED digital signage put up near the Sakchi roundabout is teasing commuters with a routine razzle-dazzle of advertisements, liable to distract those behind the steering wheel any moment, even as traffic police consider taking action against the agency concerned.

The LED signage, measuring 10ft x 20ft, has been put by Ocean Ad — a Jamshedpur-based advertising agency — on Jayant Building, a four-storey structure that houses several shops, barely 30 metres from the Sakchi roundabout.

The signage remains operational from 10.30am to 11pm beaming sundry colour ads on the giant screen, designed to attract the view of commuters coming from the Kadma-Sonari, Bistupur, Golmuri and Baridih end.

Interestingly, neither the Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) nor the district administrative officials have taken any note of the digital display at one of the most crowded junctions of the city.

JNAC special officer R.N. Dwiwedi said they had not given any permission for the display of the advertisements, suggesting the Tatas may have.

“I think the Tata Steel land department may have given them permission for the advertisement. However, I will look into the files if they (the agency authorities) have taken permission or not,” he said.

But, Tata Steel said it had nothing to do with it. Prabhat Sharma, head (corporate communications), said they had not given any permission, pointing out that the display system was installed on top of a private building.

“We can give permission only for structures on the Tata lease area. But this advertisement has been placed on a private building. The local urban body has to give permission in this case,” he said.

The traffic police are, however, perturbed by repeated complaints from drivers and commuters about problems caused by the signage. “We are contemplating issuing notice to the advertising firm,” traffic deputy superintendent of police (DSP) G.N. Singh told The Telegraph.

Sanjay Kumar, an official of Ocean Ad, said they had installed the LED signage in October 2011 but it became fully operational only in December.

“We have put the signage at a height of 30 feet so that it does not disrupt the view of road users. The height is above standard specifications for road lights,” he said.

Notably, a Supreme Court order dated December 10, 1997, had directed the removal of “hazardous hoardings” classified as those that are visible to road users, causing disturbance to safe traffic movement.

Jharkhand “boasts” two other digital displays, albeit of smaller dimensions, both in Ranchi — Firayalal Chowk and Sainik Market on Main Road.

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