By Atif Ishaq
SAHIWAL: The Supreme Court dismissed review petitions of all the stakeholders and granted three months to remove billboards from public places on 14 December, 2018. The apex court in October 2018 had ordered all the authorities across the country to remove billboards within one-and-a-half-month.
Ex-Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar after hearing the arguments of the parties’ counsels said no ground for review was made out and, therefore, review petitions are dismissed.
The Ex-Chief Justice said; “we will not allow any public property and the place be used for erecting the hoarding.
Boards in Lahore and other cities to place the billboards on the public properties as it would be violation of Article 25 of Constitution.”
The court ordered that the billboards/hoardings installed in the public properties under any license or lease shall be uprooted by the advertising agencies concerned which owned that poles or displaying materials or by the contractors if they own such material or by the authorities with whose permission the billboards or hoardings were installed.
The court observed that the civil rights of the citizens could not be hampered with by erecting the billboards and hoardings on the civic amenity meant for the use and benefit of public at large, “besides such an act would endanger the life and property of the common man”.
After that order several advertisement boards had been removed by the PHA Sahiwal. PHA removed advertisement boards from public properties over night. But there are still six huge advertisement board placed on public by one of the advertiser.
Four billboards have been placed in the police line Sahiwal one of them in DPO office and one on Niazi bridge Sahiwal.
All of these advertisement board placed in Sahiwal with the consent of PHA. On the other side PHA officials has said that PHA don’t have any concern with these advertisement board advertiser has paid the rent to the police department.
There are dozens of other advertisement board placed on private buildings with the collaboration of PHA officials.
These all are illegal board advertised just submitted the file for the NOC certificate and placed board on roof top.
Our sources confirmed most of PHA employees are directly or indirectly owned that advertisement boards.
No one board has fitness certificated from NESPAK (National engineering services Pakistan) most of the boards in really dangerous condition. Boards are fitted on very thin pipes that never been approved to hold giant size advertisement boards.
Saleem Khatia a local citizen has appealed to the Chief Justice and PM Imran Khan to take up this matter and remove all the illegal advertisement boards from the roof tops and public property according the SC order. Saleem further said that these kind of illegal and substandard boards had already claimed hundreds of lives throughout Pakistan.