Shimla, Nov.2 : Despite the ban by the Supreme Court on painting the surface of rocks with advertisements and erecting hoardings on national highways, advertisers have continued to violate the directives.
One can witness the blatant breach of the apex court's directives on many hillocks and junctions in the otherwise pristine countryside of Himachal Pradesh.
Several rocks painted colourfully with instructions and advertising boards placed in different nooks and corners of the state, welcome the visitors here.
One can see the violations particularly along the national highway 22 which crosses through the four districts of Solan, Shimla, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal Pradesh.
Environmentalists want the government to take any action against the violators of rules.
"Any kind of advertisement be it the erection and pasting of banners or painting of advertisements on the rocks or stones has been banned by the Supreme Court. But one can still see these roadside advertisements for which Government haven't taken any necessary step," said R. S. Negi, one Environmentalist of Kinnaur Region.
The government claims to have taken serious note of these violations and also about stern action being taken against the violators of Supreme Court's directive.
"We are coming with the sensitising part. But it is not only about rock painting or the posters pasted on the sides of the National Highway. There are many bigger issues also which are related to the environment. We are now coming out with a compact programme of sensitisation of these issues that will include this adverse advertisement issue also," said J. P. Nadda, State Minister of Environment.
Keeping in mind the environment and natural virgin look of the area, Supreme Court showed concern and imposed the ban on this kind of painting and advertising.
The ban had come into effect in 2003 after the judges observed that the placement of boards and advertising acts as distraction for vehicle drivers. The painting on the rocks was stopped to preserve the beauty and environment of the State. By Hemant Chauhan