Kochi in no mood to heed High Court directives on flex boards, private bus doors

The instructing civic bodies to remove illegal hoardings was issued on September 20. Three months after the verdict, flex boards continue to pop up
Private buses parked near the Kaloor bus stand and on the Kaloor-Kadavanthra stretch (File Photo | EPS)
Private buses parked near the Kaloor bus stand and on the Kaloor-Kadavanthra stretch (File Photo | EPS)

KOCHI:  A month after the deadlines, two significant High Court verdicts on prominent civic issues in Kochi, still remain on paper. While the verdict seeking the removal of flex boards in the city, the deadline of which ended on October 30, is yet to be totally implemented, the one that sought an amendment to the State Motor Vehicles Rules to affix front and rear doors in private buses, is still a distant dream. 

Flex boards

The High Court verdict instructing civic bodies to remove illegal hoardings was issued on September 20. Three months after the verdict, flex boards continue to pop up, prompting the District Collector to issue a directive to all civic bodies to remove illegal hoardings that pose a threat to traffic movement.
According to Town Planning Standing Committee chairperson Shiny Mathew, the Corporation had cleared many illegally erected flex boards. "However, many still come up across the city.

We had instructed flex printing companies to stop doing so. But, many still violate the rule due to ignorance and financial pressure. Steps are on to impose fines on flex companies. People can send complaints to the Corporation on spotting such flex boards.

We will do everything to execute the verdict," says Shiny. As for allotting a dedicated space for erecting flex boards and hoardings, Shiny said site inspections will be carried out soon. "The Town Planning officials are planning site visits. After zeroing in on locations, the report will be submitted before the council," said Shiny. 

Bus doors

The directive seeking an amendment to the State Motor Vehicles Rules to affix front and rear doors in private buses is still in the execution stage. According to Enforcement RTO Manoj Kumar, the Motor Vehicles Department is conducting regular checks.

"We are now marking the buses without doors on the checklist, which will be submitted before the RTO. The permit of repeat offenders will be cancelled," he said. However, according to the officer, bus owners are coming up with technical issues to delay the process.

"Such issues won't stop us from cracking the whip," he added. According to the bus owners, they are not against the HC amendment. "We have very few workshops and around 10 buses arrive on a daily basis to get doors affixed. It can't be done in a day. Naturally, it will take time," said M B Satyan,  president, Private Bus Operators Association. 

(With inputs from Vandana Kishore & Rithika Liz Mathew)

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