Last call for billboards

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 4.05.07

No more billboards, hopefully, dotting the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass on the stretch between Nicco Park and Parama Island.

The East Calcutta Wetland Management Authority has planned to go tough with the display firms, and after a long wait.

All display firms and the owners of these billboards will be given a “final warning” on Friday at a meeting summoned by the Authority at the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) headquarters.

“We’ll ask them to remove their billboards, failing which we definitely will swing into action next week,” said Nitai Kundu of the Institute of Wetland Management and Ecological Design and also a member of the Authority.

In March, the Authority issued a month’s deadline for removing the billboards. Only a few billboards near Captain Bheri were removed a fortnight ago, but the bulk of them, numbering around 80, remains.

“These giant billboards obstruct the flight of migratory birds coming to the wetlands. At night, each billboard is lit up by halogens that run on generators. All these are harmful to the eco-system of the East Calcutta Wetlands,” added Kundu.

Section 4 of the East Calcutta Wetland (Management and Conservation) Act, framed two years ago, empowers the Authority to order demolition of hoardings and unauthorised constructions encroaching on the East Calcutta Wetlands.

The Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), too, had issued several warnings to these firms in the past, but the warnings made no difference.

The CMC is the licensing authority for all billboard displays, and is set to lose around Rs 10 to Rs 15 lakh in revenue from these displays if the drive is actually carried out.