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Tamil Nadu has set a time limit for political parties to remove any hoardings they put up. In the cities and towns of Kerala this has a resonance. Apart from hoardings, the new trend in Kerala is to put up huge structures and arches on roads. Is there a case for Kerala to follow Tamil Nadu’s example? Our
Study the link
Tamil Nadu has set a timeframe for political parties to remove hoardings put up by them. Kerala will do well to follow suit. Large hoardings by the roadside must be pulled down after a stipulated time and fine imposed on the advertiser. This should reduce the number of road accidents in our State. In fact, time has come to make a comprehensive study on road accidents caused by such glitzy advertisements. There should not be anything on or by the side of the road that will divert the attention of the driver.
KoyilandyHapless, on all counts
Political parties do not think twice about using compound walls and public places as their display boards. They book spaces well in advance for their election campaign. The local authorities, including the police, look the other way when a complaint is lodged. Those putting up hoardings or defacing walls with slogans do not care for the common man. After elections, they torture us with ‘hartals’. For now, there seems to be no respite from their clutches.
KozhikodeOur laws will do
Putting up of huge structures and hoardings that inconvenience the public should not be encouraged. But, unlike in Tamil Nadu, here political parties do not erect large cut-outs of their leaders. However, the tendency to erect arches and structures is on the rise in Kerala also. These are a nuisance, especially during monsoon. Some of these structures collapse in heavy rain, endangering lives of road-users.
This tendency can be controlled to a great extent by the present laws of the State. Creating public awareness through effective propaganda and allotting specific places for displaying hoardings will help solve the problem in this State.
Petson Peter C
KochiFine will do the trick
When T.N. Seshan was the Chief Election Commissioner, he insisted that each political party remove the hoardings they had put up once the election was over. But no one abides by this now. For every occasion, hoardings are erected near roads, resulting in serious traffic bottlenecks. Authorities must ensure that they are removed once the function is over.
Violators must be imposed hefty fines. This way, hoardings which have served their purpose, will not stay on as eyesores.
AlappuzhaTry criminal charges
Why just Kerala, the whole of India should clean up her cities and towns. Ban not only hoardings and structures but all kinds of advertisements on the walls of public buildings, electricity posts and traffic sign boards. Mostly, political parties are the culprits. They paint a wall white and scribe on it “booked 2007” along with the party name in bold.
Those who put up such adverts must be asked to remove them within two days of the function concerned.
If they refuse, the local body must remove them and recover the expenses from the organisations. A heavy fine will ensure better compliance.
The city is not someone’s personal property. Criminal case should be charged against those who paste notices on traffic sign boards, telephone and electricity posts. If a political party is responsible, the Election Commission should take note of it.
KochiOther side of the coin
This issue is a double-edged weapon. The dismal state of our roads might prompt us to make a policy shift and ban hoardings. On the other hand, a large number of people are dependent on this industry. A sudden ban will do more harm than good. The employees in this sector have already been hit by the entry of computer-generated images. So, the move should be accompanied by proper rehabilitation measures for the workers.
Balu G. Nair
GuruvayurThe garbage angle
In Kerala, especially in Kochi, waste disposal is a concern. Hoardings and posters, ultimately, are waste and so, add to the problem. When they are made of plastic or other non-biodegradable items they pose environmental hazards too.
In the State, there are lakhs of hoardings and flexi boards on roads, from which political leaders and film stars smile at us. But this is no laughing matter for road-users. Kerala must adopt Tamil Nadu’s policy, directing those who put up the boards to clear them at the earliest. Let the party or personality not be a deterrent.
KochiThe ‘middle’ path
Agreed, Kerala is not so much into the ‘cut-out’ culture as its neighbour. So, the impact of a similar ban might not be huge. However, if hoardings for political and commercial advertisement that flank roads are relocated or removed, traffic congestion can be reduced.
That will be a great relief to pedestrians, whose space is squeezed on one side by the carriageway and curtailed on the other by the haphazard props, lampposts and power distribution equipment upon which are mounted hoardings, festoons and banners. Besides restraining by law the abuse of public space, a remedy will be to have dividers/medians for main roads, regardless of width, so that lampposts and other facilities can be placed on the centre of the roads. With nothing on the sidewalks to hitch banners and unauthorised signposts, the space will be free for those whom it is actually meant. .
AlappuzhaThink about the money
What works in Tamil Nadu need not produce results here. In Kerala, the politics of voter is confined to food and shelter.
The moment nominations are filed, they decide who they should vote for. Hoardings or arches cannot change their minds.
Still, huge money is pumped into political advertisements. It is big business. Fifty years ago, lime was used for writing on walls. Now, there are costly hoardings, structures and arches. Tomorrow there may be helicopters, aircraft and what not! They will require hundred times more funds. No law can prevent this trend. The only way out is an introspection by political parties -- about the futility of spending such enormous amounts on meaningless publicity.
K. Ram Das
The decision of the Tamil Nadu Government can be termed a positive step. But the situation in Kerala is different and so we need not follow suit. In Tamil Nadu huge cut-outs are erected, not just during election time, but also when a not-so-significant political meeting is convened. This leaves the pedestrians and vehicle-users a harried lot.
But, in Kerala, political parties usually do not resort to such activities.
There has been a slight inclination towards excessive publicity of late, but local bodies can take a firm stand against putting up of arches and huge hoardings which disrupt traffic.
As for other propaganda materials by commercial establishments, the Local-Self Governments must not think about the meagre revenue earned by granting licences for such displays. Priority should be on the difficulties they might cause to the public.
Strict vigilance on their part will solve this problem to a large extent in Kerala.
Joseph George A.
TripunithuraDanger in colour
The decision taken by the Tamil Nadu Government to remove hoardings put up by political parties is a step in the right direction. Road Traffic Injuries [RTI] is a major problem in Kerala. Colourful billboards catch the driver’s eye. This momentary lapse can claim a life. Sadly, this issue is often ignored. This is as serious a problem as over-speeding, overloading of vehicles, use of alcohol, absence of road dividers, etc, which are usually highlighted as reasons behind accidents. Neethi Liz Paul
The width of the entrance of Ernakulam South Railway station has been reduced by half by an arch. It blocks the smooth passage of commuters and vehicle traffic.
Hawkers on the footpath too have grabbed a portion of the road. A step, on the line of the Tamil Nadu, will surely have many supporters in this part of the State.
KochiGood for road-users
It is a welcome step on the part of the Tamil Nadu Government. There may be political reasons behind it, but it is a good move as far as the pedestrians and vehicle-drivers are concerned.
KochiReason for removal
Roads should be free from obstacles. They are not places for advertisements. Hoardings hinder traffic, result in accidents. That is more than a valid reason to clamour for their removal.
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