Illegal banners, posters, festoons and graffiti are visible in every corner of the capital, which is aggravating the bad look the city has already got because of its unplanned growth and indifference of the authorities concerned to its beautification.
House owners have blamed the frenzy of different companies as well as political parties to grab the space on their boundary walls and the adjacent alleys where they put up posters, graffiti and banners for advertisements and publicity without their permissions.
They also find nonchalance of the authorities concerned responsible for this open display of the illegal advertisements, with no punitive measure against them.
The government passed the Writing on Walls and Poster (Control) Act, 2012 and the High Court has directives to control such illegal advertisement.
Locals have complained about the absence of any message in most of these advertisements do not carry any message for the ordinary people, rather they have negative impacts on society as the cinema posters most often become advertisement for firearm.
Some of the posters are very filthy and contradict social value while some provoke and cheat people, they think.
Authorities of the city corporations say that they cannot control these illegal activities for lack of manpower. They also blame politicians for violating the law.
During visits to different areas of the city, political posters, especially those of the ruling party leaders, are seen everywhere, some of them dating around two years back.
Chief waste management officer of Dhaka North City Corporation commodore MA Razzak says that they ran a number of drives to control the outdoor advertisement and fined many institutions this year, but the malpractice could not be stopped.
He said since January they fined 32 firms including coaching centre, cinema, fashion house, food manufacturing company and household product manufacturers a total of Tk 13 lakh and removed 1.68 lakh such advertisements.
‘We are going to take stern punitive measures such as case filing and closure of the intuitions,’ he warned.
He said they have fined some of the institutions repeatedly but they did not stop the malpractice. Two politicians would be sued as they did not remove their poster even after repeated notices, they informed.
He said on Monday that they sealed off a fashion house Bishwa Rong at Farmgate as they did not remove their posters in compliance with a DNCC mobile court order issued on April 12.
The mobile court also fined seven coaching centres Saifur’s, UCC, Udbhas, Unmesh, Paragon, Oracle and Nasir Sir Tk 3.1 lakh for violating the Graffiti and Poster Campaign Control Act 2012.
He said that to stop haphazard advertisement they selected 52 spots for putting up posters but not for graffiti. Of them 20 would be launched immediately.
Dhaka South City Corporation is yet to make any policy or decision about designating spots for advertisement, locals say.
DSCC chief revenue officer Yusuf Ali Khan said they did not take any punitive measure against anyone but were going to file 30 cases for haphazard display of poster and banners.
The Daily Star business development department general manager Sher Ali said that the illegal advertisement was harming the legal advertisement houses, besides depriving the government of huge amount of revenue.
On March 18, 2012, the High Court ordered the authorities to remove all such materials following a petition filed by Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers’ Association and issued a rule seeking explanation from the government.
On August 18, last year, the HC ordered the two city corporations of the capital to remove all the illegal advertisements and erase all the writings on walls by August 22.
Later, the authorities of the two city corporations submitted a report to the HC mentioning that they accomplished 90 per cent of the job.
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