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Civic axe on illegal hoardings

East Singhbhum administration on Monday undertook its maiden drive to remove illegal hoardings — mostly New Year’s wishes from political parties — from important roundabouts of the steel city for commuter safety.

The special drive started at 11am near Sakchi roundabout and lasted for over three hours.

Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC), which gives permission to erect billboards in city areas — barring Mango and Jugsalai as they are controlled by separate civic bodies — pulled down at least 100 hoardings and banners from Sakchi, Sitaramdera and MGM roundabouts.

The JNAC task force led by its tax collector Ayodhya Singh dismantled the hoardings, which were put up by different social organisations, political leaders and commercial establishments without valid permission from the civic body.

“The drive was initiated after East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal’s directive to remove hoardings as they obstructed the view of vehicles and pedestrians alike, increasing chances of accidents,” Singh said.

He added they had removed small hoardings on Monday, but in the next few days would press excavators into service to pull down the bigger ones.

“Our drive will continue till all the illegal hoardings are completely removed and the framework holding those demolished,” Singh added.

The Sakchi roundabout is one of the busiest in the city as it is located near Sakchi market. It witnesses more than 2.5 lakh vehicles crossing it daily from approach roads like Straight Mile which is connected to residential areas of Sidhgora, Baridih, Agrico, Bhalubasa, Kasidih and Bistupur.

Sitaramdera bus terminus roundabout witnesses movement of long-distance buses to various destinations in Jharkhand, as well as in Bihar, Odisha, Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

Vehicles and pedestrians use the MGM roundabout for reaching the state-owned heal hub — MGM Medical College and Hospital — from different parts of the city and also use it as a link between Mango and Sakchi.

Singh said hoardings in roundabouts had suddenly mushroomed to block a view of the road ahead and also served as distractions.

“To reduce the chances of accidents, it was necessary to remove hoardings. Moreover, these were not even fetching us revenues,” Singh added.

Taking cue from JNAC, Mango Notified Area Committee (MNAC) has also decided to undertake a similar drive to free the entry gate to Jamshedpur on Mango second bridge. Such is the height of the hoardings and banners here that some trucks and trailers may end up touching them.

“We will also start the drive within a day or two,” said MNAC assistant engineer Ajay Kumar.