NHAI to remove billboards carrying photographs of PM, Sonia

NHAI to remove billboards carrying photographs of PM, Sonia

The authority, in its letter dated February 26 to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, has "proposed not to provide display boards with photographs of Prime Minister and Chairperson UPA in view of letter from PMO wherein it has directed not to use the photographs of Prime Minister without specific approval from Prime Minister's Office (PMO)."

"The display boards already erected will either be removed or the photographs of Prime Minister and Chairperson of UPA will be replaced with the photographs of project highways or facilities," the NHAI said in a reply to an RTI query.

The authority in its reply to activist S C Agrawal said it has not made any request to Sonia Gandhi for using her photographs on the display boards.Earlier, the authority had planned to erect about 1,500 billboards with pictures of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi every 25 kilometres on the national highways.
A circular was issued to all its Project Directors regarding provision of display boards at 25 km interval on both sides alternatively in English, Hindi and the local language.
The PMO has issued instructions to all Ministries to take its prior approval before using the Prime Minister's photographs.

In response to an earlier RTI query from Agrawal, the NHAI had said out of the total of 1,488 such billboards, a maximum of 282 were planned to be erected on national highways in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand, 249 in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana and 214 in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

A total of 170 display boards were planned in Andhra Pradesh, 126 in Maharashtra and Goa, 120 in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, 108 in West Bengal and Orissa and 91 in Karnataka and Kerala.

While 70 billboards were proposed to be put up in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and 58 in Assam and other north-east states.The display boards are to be provided at the cost of the contractor or concessionaire and NHAI will not incur any expenditure on this account, the reply said.