Govt orgs stealing capital’s vanishing beauty

Large hoardings have been set up in front of Rail Bhaban in Dhaka, launching an assault on the beauty of the capital city. This photo was taken on Tuesday. — Sanaul Haque

Display of banners, festoons and posters by different state-owned organisations defying restrictions is stripping Dhaka city of what remains of its diminishing beauty.
Officials of both Dhaka South City Corporation and Dhaka North City Corporation told New Age that many ministries, divisions and their affiliated bodies were putting up banners, festoons and posters in different city areas on various occasion, many of them making publicity of the ruling party.
Such banners, festoons and posters are displayed in the key areas such as secretariat, Shahbagh and Motijheel, Dhanmondi and Gulshan bypassing the city corporations.
DSCC and DNCC have decided not to entertain such publicity after the High Court on March 18, 2012 had ordered the authorities to remove illegal hoardings and displays following a writ petition in line with the Writing on Walls and Poster (Control) Act, 2012.
The section- 3 and 4 of the act empowers local administration to select particular spots for display of hoardings and advertisements by someone or any organsiations for a limited period.
The violators of the act shall be penalised with minimum Tk 5,000 to maximum Tk 10,000, said the act.
The DSCC officials said the ministries and divisions were causing difficulties to the city corporations by not removing the banners, festoons and posters timely.
DSCC secretary Shabuddin Khan said the city corporations, with their limited manpower, would have to remove the banners, festoons and posters.
He said they needed cooperation from all to preserve the city’s beauty after repeated drives by both the corporations in the last one year brought success in removing the illegal hoardings.
Alone in the DSCC, around 2,200 illegal hoardings have been dismantled since 2015, according to the official.
On August 18, 2016, the HC ordered the two city corporations to remove all the illegal advertisements and erase all the writings on walls by August 22 as they caused visual pollution and hampered scenic beauty.
Urban expert Iqbal Habib said visual pollution because of uncontrolled displays of advertisements was a growing problem in both the city corporations along with myriad problems like traffic congestion, air pollution and water-logging.
He said city corporations should enforce its regulations, including imposition of fines on the rule breakers, to protect the remaining beauty of the city for the sake of its residents and the visitors.
DSCC is also installing over 500 digital hoardings at 30 points by the permission from the Department of Environment.
Officials said DSCC mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon, through letters he issued on October 2, urged ministries and divisions to refrain from display of posters, festoon and hoardings.
He also urged them to utilise the digital hoardings installed by city corporations in major city streets for publicity paying certain amount of fees.
Already half of the digital hoardings with the LED (light-emitting diode) technology have been installed at Kakrail, Hotel Sheraton and other points.

Source: New Age

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