Thursday, December 25, 2014

CEJ case produced Visual Pollution Regulation in Sri Lanka

Considering the draft visual pollution regulations submitted by the Central Environmental Authority, Court ordered to gazette the same. This is the result of a case filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice in 2009, against the election posters.   
The Centre For Environmental Justice (CEJ) moved Court of Appeal 5 years ago, filing the case bearing the application No. C. A. 135/2009 seeking an order in nature of  Writ of Mandamus against the Inspector General of Police and Central Environmental Authority compelling to formulate regulation on displaying banners, posters, banners and hoardings.

Petitioner has stated their Petition that unauthorized posters, banners and other erections have desecrated the cities and major towns without taking any notice of the educational institutions, religious places of worship, buildings of national importance, historical monuments and places of scenic beauty and/ or visual quality completely obliterating such structures and of vistas. They even occupy pavements causing obstruction to pedestrian movements.

Among adverse impacts of displaying posters, banners at unusual places are visual pollution obscuring scenic views and a fall in prestige of the area with their bright colours. Also Billboards and hoardings have long being accused of being destructive to drivers and causing accidents since sings with bright colours and eye-grabbing pictures may cause drivers to look away from the road during a crucial moment many vehicles and pedestrians have been damaged and injured when hoardings crashed down on them.

It is noted that at the 1st instance of filing of this matter, the 2nd Respondent - the Inspector General of the Police has made an undertaking to remove banners, posters, bill boards and hoardings which have been erected in unauthorized place in Western Province.

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