Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 26 February 2024 4.14 PM IST

Rs 5000 fine for illegal flex boards


The request has been made on a repeated basis but the government is paying no heed. We are talking about the occasional High Court intervention asking the state government to remove illegal flex boards and flagpoles installed on both sides of the roads. All talks went straight down to drain as no good work came from the government's side. The flex boards and hoardings are a menace for commuters and motorcycle riders alike. On the other day, while considering a case similar to this, the government informed the court about successfully clearing 40 lakh illegal flex boards from the state.

However, it is feared that the same number (40 lakh) of new flex boards have crept in and replaced the old cleared ones. In footpaths and alleys of the city, these boards are in copious numbers. At present, there is a miasma of flex board and hoardings in the city adding up to the mess already created by the uneven waste disposal. Interestingly, large MNCs to local organizations are owners of this ‘mess’ that puts the commuter's life in danger.

For whatever event; from a marriage function to government meetings, flex boards have turned the norm. The flex boards are hung down or are seen tied up on the prime spots of the city and are mostly placed haphazardly obscuring signboards and traffic signals.

The High Court observed that the government's measures in removing the roadside boards were not effective at all. All boards erected without the permission of the concerned authorities shall be removed. There should be no political considerations in this regard. Meanwhile, officials who mostly fawn to their masters fear the prospect of removing the flex boards by duly following the high court order. If the flex board includes the photo of a political leader, then there is zero possibility of the flex coming down anytime soon. The leaders seem to treat roads as their lair, but it is not. The reality is yet to befall them as they still find serotonin in displaying their life-size image on public roads. This mentality is also the mainspring behind the proliferation of flexes boards in Kerala.

Strict rules should be the remedy to end this reckless conduct.

  • People should get the fear or should know the punitive retribution of placing flex boards on public roads.
  • Boards erected without the knowledge of the authorities should not only be removed but heavy fines should be levied from those who put them up.

The high court’s rule that allows the government to collect a Rs 5000 fine for illegal flex boards in the state is actually a boon for the financially affected government. However, the lucrative idea is yet to get a green pass from the government or there is something wily about the delay.

There was a time when the country was filled with graffiti, boards and flagpoles during elections. Such malpractice has changed due to the strict intervention of the Election Commission.

It is not just the onus of government officials to stymie such practices. The public should have some discretion to end such practice and it can give an added facelift to the state.

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