Defying NGT orders, Illegal hoardings, banners nailed to trees in Patiala, authorities fail to check, take action against offenders
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in News/ November 20,2023
Leaders of ruling party in Patiala seem to be more publicity hungry as compare to other political parties who ruled the city in past. Since the party has taken the reins of the state, the workers, leaders are regularly defacing the royal city of Patiala with hoardings at every nook and corner. The ruling party leaders have outnumbered their political competitors in defacing the city by putting illegal hoardings, everywhere. The city has been dotted with illegal boards, flexes, hoardings.
The supporters of politicians, religious bodies, NGO’s don’t even spare the trees and the illegal affixation of hoardings, flex boards on tress goes unchecked by the forest department, district administration officials. Nails are being hammered into the trees to fix the banners, thus openly flouting the rules.
There has been a substantial rise in illegal advertisements, hoardings, stickers, nails etc. put up on trees. This is illegal as it damages the trees. These hoardings on trees are regularly displayed by flouting norms just opposite the offices of commissioner Patiala division, deputy commissioner, sub divisional magistrate etc. The forest offices are also just a stone throw away from the spot where hoardings are regularly displayed and go unchecked. Even the hoardings are nailed on trees near the office of divisional forest officer.
According to an order issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in April 2013, trees should not be used to support advertisements or banners. Several times the complaints to the forest department were made, but no action has been taken against the violators. What they do is just remove the flexes or advertisements but never issued any notice to the violator.
Gurpreet Kaur, a teacher said that due to the fixing of big nails and trellis, the xylem and phloem (plant vascular tissue) get ruptured leading to a stoppage in carrying food and water from roots to the rest of the parts of the trees. Apart from this, nailing tears up the bark and opens spaces for pests and diseases. “We appeal to citizens to stop hammering nails and putting illegal advertisements, hoardings on trees, as trees play a major part in keeping our planet alive.”
When contacted Vidya Sagri R.U, IFS, Divisional Forest Officer, Extension, Patiala , she admitted that “It’s an offence to affix a hoarding, flex on trees. When asked the violators are regularly putting up hoardings on tress, she said orders had already been passed to the field officers in past and an undertaking have already been received from them that they are responsible for any violations. But, now strict instructions will be issued again to control this menace. She also admitted that no notices have been given to the advertisers and to the person who nailed the hoardings on trees and are in the business of these types of advertisements. I’ll ask my subordinates to remove them immediately. When asked, is the forest department going to take any action or issue a notice of violation under Forest Act, on this she said “ I’ll issue a letter to my field officers and ask him to check and give reply.”
Defying NGT orders, Illegal hoardings, banners nailed to trees in Patiala, authorities fail to check, take action against offenders.
On this a Kamalpreet Singh, a businessman said “these politicians must set a trend and ask their supporters to not to hurt the trees by putting illegal hoardings and deface the city. Moreover trees are not meant for advertising. Even the officials are equally responsible for showing laxity in discharging their official duty and fails every time in removing the illegal hoardings, defacing the city. The district administration officers are moving in the city on daily basis. Can’t they direct the concerned authorities to issue a challan, notice to the violators?”