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Hoardings give hard time to cops

Ranchi’s traffic police, already hard-pressed to man clogged city arteries with limited strength, have a new headache — monopole hoardings.

Huge advertisements propped up on single poles have come up at 48 points across the state capital, which, traffic police believe, are obstructing views of vehicles and pedestrians alike and can cause serious accidents. According to the men in uniform, the risk factor is more at night when heavy vehicles enter Ranchi.

“These hoardings that have suddenly mushroomed in the city are blocking a clear view of the road ahead, not to forget that they served as distractions too. For example, the big hoardings atop the 14-feet pole on Main Road make it difficult for drivers and commuters to see the road ahead properly. In such a situation, possibility of accident is more,” said a traffic policeman deputed at Sujata Chowk.

Another deputed on Radium Road agreed.

“Monopole billboards erected on this road may cause serious accidents as heavy vehicles frequently pass through the stretch after no-entry curbs are lifted at night. Such is the height of the hoardings that some trucks and trailers may end up touching them. Besides Radium Road, monopoles hoardings near Anjuam Plaza and Anand Mai Market on Main Road are also a cause of concern,” he added.

Superintendent of police (traffic) Rajiv Ranjan shared his men’s thoughts and apprehensions. “Ranchi Municipal Corporation, which authorises advertisement companies to install single-pole hoardings without consulting us, has been contacted to find a solution to the problem. We are hopeful that the civic authorities will take a decision on the matter soon,” he said.

The advertisers, however, defended themselves.

Rajeev Chatterjee, president of Jharkhand Outdoor Advertising Association and manager of Selvel, an advertising agency that has propped up some of the hoardings in question, said: “Our hoardings are in perfect order. Regarding those put up by other advertising agencies, I cannot comment. As far as traffic problems are concerned, the issue can be sorted out.”

Asked whether they ought to have sought permission from the traffic department, Chatterjee pointed out that it had never been the practice.