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January 15, 2021

Billboards mar natural beauty of Margalla Road

Islamabad

January 15, 2021

Islamabad : Huge ugly billboards placed on Margalla Road in Sector E-11 traffic signal in violation of existing rules are making a mockery of the slogan ‘Islamabad: The Green’.

These are the only billboards on Margalla Road because all others have been removed on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

These billboards clearly block the direct view of Margalla Hills and instead present an ugly look of the road that is otherwise so green, beautiful, and attractive for the motorists.

Asad Rehman, a motorist, said, “The city managers can have various options to raise revenue so why do they need to destroy green city's basic fabric of the proximity of nature by building billboard walls.”

Interestingly, the billboards that hide the city’s green look have been banned under the Capital Development Authority (CDA) rules but some say that digital tri-vision that flashes a set of advertisements cannot be called billboards despite the fact that both are outdoor units and are designed to attract the buyers for specific products.

According to a report submitted to the Supreme Court in July 2019 the city managers were doing their best to remove the billboards/hoardings, bridge panels, and LED screens from footpaths, roads, triangles, central medians/squares, and roundabouts to ensure aesthetic beauty of the city as well as public safety.

Yousaf Hameed, a motorist, said “Now there are a number of mediums especially social media for advertisements. So why the companies are still pursuing the policy of placing billboards on the roads.”

“The billboards not only divert the attention of the motorists but also mar natural beauty and cause environmental degradation,” he said.

The CDA’s Director General Environment in his response vowed that he would raise the issue of billboards with the Municipal Corporation of Islamabad (MCI) and get them removed in the coming days.