GCC remains silent as 1,000 illegal billboards appear in Chennai

Thousands of illicit hoardings have erupted in the city over the last six months . Hoardings were only permitted in 40 parts of the city, on public and government premises designated by the civic body six months ago .

CHENNAI: Thousands of illicit hoardings have erupted in the city over the last six months due to a lack of concrete regulations and a Greater Chennai Corporation licensing embargo.Officials from the municipal corporation said they were unable to issue licenses due to a lack of regulation.Hoardings were only permitted in 40 parts of the city, on public and government premises designated by the civic body six months ago.The cost per square foot was 40 to 150 dollars.

The result is a multiple crore loss for the municipal body in the form of a license fee and fine.According to the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919, the commissioner had the privilege to set the license fee and determine the rules and regulations surrounding hoardings by consultation from the council.The Tamil Nadu Urban Local Bodies Act, 1998, is being used as the common law for all urban local authorities, including the Greater Chennai Corporation.The civic body hasn't renewed the licenses as there is no consensus on the matter.

25,000 dollars is the maximum penalty for putting in illegal hoardings.According to acitivist Kathirmathiyon, the primary concern is the welfare of the public, not the company's profit.There are no security laws that are being followed.That's also surprising that government departments aren't taking steps.

According to Kathirmathiyon, one cannot wait for the court to intervene and pass an order on every single hoarding.A civic group has announced that it has been taking steps but is unable to launch a large scale crackdown in the absence of specific regulations.According to one official, we act on the particular case when allegations are made.According to an advertiser, the number of illicit hoardings has increased in recent months due to Olympiad.

V Gopalakrishnan, a city-based activist who has lodged several charges about illegal hoardings, said that despite knowing that every single hoarding in the city is a crime, the company that is not taking steps to correct the crimes demonstrates their dedication to the acts and regulations.