PMC seeks inspiration from Chennai to act against illegal hoardings at railway station

Feb 07, 2014, 05:31 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

A two-year old Madras High Court ruling, in which permission had been granted to the local municipal corporation to act against illegal hoardings at Chennai railway station, has fired up PMC.

By attaching a copy of this judgment, on Wednesday, the civic body wrote to Central Railway, asking permission for taking action against over 100 unauthorised billboards that have mushroomed in railway’s jurisdiction in the city.

PMC officials found the news regarding the court ruling of December 4, 2012 online in a Chennai newspaper that made it clear that hoardings put up in railway area are subject to regulations as per state government laws.

“We found a copy of the judgment on Wednesday, and we have sent it to Central Railway, so they allow PMC to enter in their area to act against hoardings that are flouting rules set by the government,” said Rajendra Jagtap, additional municipal commissioner.

While PMC had launched an aggressive campaign last year against unauthorised billboards, it failed to act against total 121 hoardings in rail jurisdiction as railway objected PMC employees to enter in their area.

“Over 100 such illegal hoardings come under Dhole Patil Ward Office area. We are consistently following this issue with rail department. On the other hand Bombay High Court orders are also there to act against illegal hoardings. So now they (railway) have to give us permission,” Jagtap added.

The Chennai HC ruling stated: “The hoarding erected on railway premises also came under the definition of ‘hoarding’ under section 326-A of the Chennai Municipal Corporation Act. If held otherwise, it would defeat the very purpose of the law, which has to regulate all hoardings exhibiting advertisements that were visible to public.”

PMC deputy commissioner DG Pawar, who has drafted the statement sent to Central Railway, said, “After receiving directions from additional commissioner I searched the Madras HC order and sent it to the railways. Now we will wait for their reply. Hopefully, now CR will allow us to act against hoardings on its premises.”

Act against political hoardings first: Central Rly

However, Central Railway spokesperson YK Singh rubbished the PMC’s move by alleging that the civic body is not acting against illegal hoardings erected by politicians in the city.

“Is the law not the same for politicians who have put up illegal hoardings in the city? First PMC should give notice to all these hoarding owners, and then it should come to railway premises,” he said.

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