Concerned over rise in accidents, centre cracks down on unauthorised ad hoardings along NHs
NEW DELHI: Concerned over the rise in accidents on National Highways (NHs), the Transport ministry has issued a directive to its staff to ensure that there are no advertisement hoardings on the highways as they caused distraction.
The ministry, in a directive issued to all its offices in various states, said that despite an existing policy prohibiting advertisement hoardings on the NHs, they have nevertheless been noticed along the highways.
“It was decided that the regional officers (engineering, liasoning officers) shall inspect the NHs within their jurisdiction by prioritising NHs with heavy traffic and submit inspection reports to the Ministry for further necessary action, along with their monthly reports,” said the directive issued September 7.
Raising concerns over the lack of submission of reports by state officers, the ministry directed them to inspect all the NHs within their jurisdictions and send a consolidated report regarding the hoardings to the ministry.
The ministry, in 2012, had issued a circular wherein it was mentioned that no advertisement hoardings were permitted but added some exceptions.
“As per the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways extant policy, no advertisement hoardings are permitted on National Highways within the Right of Way except informative signs of public interest such as hospitals, bus stations etc. or advertisement of temporary nature announcing local events such as mela, flower show etc. Under the policy of private sponsorship of road signs and greening of National Highways, private entrepreneurs are allowed to depict the name/logo of their company in a sign of specified dimension,” the circular said.
“Instructions have been issued from time to time to executing agencies for removal of existing advertisement hoardings on National Highways within the Right of Way,” it added.
Almost 5 lakh road accidents occurred in the country last year, killing 146,000 people and leaving thrice the number injured. There has been an increase of 2.5 per cent in the number of accidents over 2014.