Shopian: While the district administration in south Kashmir's Shopian district embarked on a beautification drive a few months ago, the signboards put up by private coaching institutes at multiple locations have defaced the townscape.
The plastic signboards announcing the admissions for various courses have been put by many coaching institutes at old Bus Stand, Bongam, Bonabazaar, and near Government Girls Higher Secondary School.
“The town wears a shabby look with the onset of winters as every bare wall is plastered with posters,” said Zubair Ahmad, a local.
However, Ahmad said that this year the institutes hung mostly the plastic signboards on electric poles, sparing the recently-painted walls.
In June, the district administration embellished dozens of walls in the town with colourful murals and graffiti as part of its beautification drive.
“It seems that administration itself is undoing its good work by allowing these centers to put up the signboards,” Ahmad said.
Mubashir Ahmad Bhat, another resident said that the signboards erected on the electric poles along the sidewalks posed a threat to the pedestrians.
“These boards with sharp edges are easily blown away by winds posing a threat to the pedestrians,” he said.
A coaching centre owner said that they formally applied with Municipal Council Shopian for erecting the hoardings.
“We put the hoardings only after seeking permission from the municipal authorities,” he said.
An official from the Municipal Council Shopian said that some of the institutes had been granted permission to put up the billboards at specific locations only.
“We will look into the matter and remove the signboards and hoardings, which are erected illegally,” he said.