TN Govt urged to revive hoarding business

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Chennai, Aug 30 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu Outdoor Advertising Association (TNOAA) today urged the State government to revive the hoarding business in the state.

Talking to newspersons here, TNOAA Secretary A G Nayakam questioned the state government's action of removing 1,600 authorised hoardings under the guise of dismantling 4,000 ''unauthorised hoardings'' in the state following a Supreme Court directive.

About 1,600-odd hoardings put by the TNOAA were removed on April 10 this year, a day after the court ruling.

''The government neither issued any prior notice nor allowed us to remove the hoardings on our own. They did not even follow the Supreme Court directive in this regard,'' he said and alleged that officials had not returned nearly Rs 18 crore worth hoarding materials, including thousands of vinyl sheets and iron structures, to the Association.

He said the Association had put up these hoardings after paying the necessary lease rent and advertisement tax, which was valid till June 30 this year.

Demanding adequate compensation to the association members who were deprived of their livelihood, Mr Nayakam, said the apex court had not banned advertisement hoardings.

''It had only prohibited obstructive and destructive hoardings.'' Stating that the appeal filed by the 1,600 people were still pending with the government, he urged Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to take steps to revive the hoarding business in the state.

''The government should revive it by regulating the business and issue fresh licences to genuine applicants (the licence had expired by June 30 this year), as nearly one lakh people associated with the industry are affected,'' he added.

Mr Nayakam said the government should regulate the more than 40 years old hoarding industry and grant a fresh lease of life to the affected families by reinstalling all the licenced hoardings that had been removed.

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