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Civic rap on rogue hoardings

Arteries and major roundabouts of the city will soon be free of illegal hoardings and cut-outs that deface the area and hinder the view of pedestrians and drivers, increasing the chance of accidents.

Urban body Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee is all set to start a major drive from February against illegal hoardings put up at public places by political leaders, social outfits and private firms.

Earlier, such drives were carried out across the city by the local urban body before or during elections, when hoardings of political parties were pulled down and cases lodged for violating code of conduct.

However, the state of thoroughfares has compelled the administration to launch the exercise at a time other than the elections.

JNAC special officer Dipak Sahay has written to Tata Steel and East Singhbhum SSP Amol V. Homkar on Monday, asking them to identify hoardings that are legally put up. This will enable the JNAC to crack down on those that are not.

“JNAC has around 25 hoarding slots in the city. So far, we don’t know the number of legal slots owned by Tata Steel and police department. After getting lists, we can distinguish between the illegal and legal hoardings. Then it will be easier to remove the illegal hoardings and levy fines against offenders,” he said.

Notably, the JNAC had removed illegal hoardings from major city roundabouts on January 6 following a directive from East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal.

Illegal cut-outs and flexes were removed from Sakchi, Sitaramdera and MGM roundabouts during the exercise.

However, within weeks, situation came back to square one, with huge banners enveloping roundabouts.

Among the worst-affected areas is Sakchi roundabout, which daily witnesses over 2.5lakh vehicles from thoroughfares like Straight Mile Road that connects the commercial hub to Sidhgora, Baridih, Agrico, Bhalubasa, Kasidih and Bistupur.

Regarding the issue of defacement, the state urban development department adopted the Bihar Prevention of Defacement of Property Act (1985) when Jharkhand became a separate state in 2000, but its enforcement is done only during elections.

According to provisions of the Bihar Prevention of Defacement of Property Act (1985) offenders would be liable for a punishment of fine up to Rs 50,000 or imprisonment for six months.