Cabinet to approve bill criminalising hoisting of illegal hoardings: Sukhbir

The Punjab Cabinet will soon approve a bill with provisions for criminal proceedings against those who erect illegal hoardings in the state, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Wednesday. While issuing orders to all deputy commissioners (DCs) in the state, directing them to intensify the drive against illegal hoardings in cities, Sukhbir categorically stated that any violation of municipal bylaws will not be tolerated.

Addressing the media after paying obeisance on the 38th anniversary of Sant Tarlok Singh at the Dera Kahna Dhesian here on Wednesday, Sukhbir said the onus of implementing the outdoor advertisement policy, passed by the state Cabinet recently, lay with the district administration.

"To give more teeth to the law against illegal hoardings the Cabinet would soon approve a bill providing for criminal proceedings against persons responsible for erection of illegal hoardings," he said. Sukhbir added that according to the new advertisement policy, electronic billboards would dot all cities and illegal hoardings defacing the planned look of a city will not be allowed.

Reports in a section of media on Wednesday said that the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation has asked the Punjab Sports Department to immediately remove promotional hoardings erected at various points in the city, including those promoting the ongoing 3rd edition of the World Cup Kabaddi, as they were "not only defacing the city, but were also posing a traffic hazard." The Kabaddi Cup hoardings erected here also carry the pictures of the deputy chief minister and others.

On the drug menace, Sukhbir said Punjab was paying dearly for being a border state and added that he has issued directions to police to strengthen the case against drug lords and initiate proceedings for the attachment of their properties. He also sought cooperation from saint and seers in launching a concerted drive against drug addiction in the state.

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