The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has started serving fresh notices against unauthorised hoardings in its purview, indicating that there were more illegal hoardings than those detected in an earlier survey.

During the recent times, the corporation has discovered 462 fresh hoardings for which no records of permission exist with the civic body.

Notices have been served on all the agencies responsible for these hoardings, seeking replies along with the records confirming receipt of permission. So far, only 80 agencies have responded, say officials.

These 462 are apart from the 333 unauthorised hoardings discovered by the GHMC during a survey earlier. Of them, 168 hoardings have been removed so far, as per the official records.

“Many others removed them on their own as soon as they learnt that we had awarded the contract for removal of illegal hoardings. At a few other locations, we made the mistake of counting in the hoardings set up in areas under the purview of Industrial Area Local Authorities,” said an official.

About 15 cases were filed in court against the GHMC by people aggrieved by removal of hoardings. They claimed that the corporation had not followed proper procedure, and gone ahead without issuing any notice.

“This time, we have decided to remove them only after issuing notices adhering to the procedure to the violators,” said the official.

The first notice would be sent asking to share records confirming the permission taken. Based on the reply or absence of it, another show-cause notice would be served, followed by a final one. The GHMC has been treating the illegal advertisers with kid gloves reportedly owing to its own helplessness in taking action. The violators are enjoying impunity thanks to the GHMC Act, the provisions of which prescribe minimal penalty against illegal advertisers.

The corporation had begun the drive against illegal hoardings in 2017, after the High Court in its 2016 judgment directed for the same, acting upon a complaint by an NGO.

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