Pakistan News

SC asks district judges to file billboards survey reports within 30 days

SC asks district judges to file billboards survey reports within 30 days

KARACHI: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to immediately remove all hoarding and signboards from all private, commercial and public properties.

A three-judge bench comprising Justices Amir Hani Muslim, Mushir Alam and Maqbool Baqar also ordered the district judges in the city to conduct a survey on the implementation of the apex court order and submit their respective reports within a month.

The billboards were dangerous for people and they should be removed immediately, the bench observed.

At the outset of the hearing, Additional Attorney General of Pakistan Salman Talibuddin and Advocate General Barrister Zamir Ghumro filed their reports declaring that the billboards had been removed in the city on court’s order. A bench member, however, said that several signboards were still installed on footpaths. The additional attorney general informed the bench that the signboards on public properties had been uprooted while those on private and commercial properties were still there.

A senior lawyer told the court that a private TV channel had entered into an agreement with the Karachi administration for the installation of billboards on flyovers and bridges.

However, the city commissioner claimed that only posters and national flags were permitted to be installed on flyovers and bridges to mark the upcoming Independence Day on Aug 14.

17 authorities in city

According to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), there are 17 agencies which permit the installation of hoardings in the city.

Earlier, the Cantonment Board Faisal (CBF) in its report stated that 93 illegal hoardings were installed within its jurisdiction, while 31 and 33 such boards were installed on the land owned by Pakistan Navy and Civil Aviation Authority, respectively.

Besides, the report said, 26 illegal signboards were installed on the land of station headquarters, two on the land owned by Pakistan Air Force and one illegal signboard was installed on the land of Pakistan Railway.

It said 14 illegal signboards were removed from Karsaz and 10 others were uprooted from Rashid Minhas Road.

The bench gave the directions for the removal of illegal hoardings while hearing a petition of the Cantonment Board Karachi against Sindh High Court’s order that had nullified the excessive advertisement tax imposed by the board on private outdoor advertisement boards.

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2016

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