The Degrading Sense of Advertisement


Overhead Hoarding Board @Radhe Radhe junction for advertisement

When you get along to Radhe Radhe (Bhaktapur) from Lokanthali, you happen to see recently-anchored many sideways pillars along the Highway across which is a hoarding board where it is announced that the place is available for placing the advertisements. And these kinds of overhead advertisement holders are placed on both the lanes. 


Road Traffic accidents are one among top five causes of morbidity and mortality in South-East Asian countries. In 2017, it was 11th leading cause of death in Nepal. Whilst it is expected that certain measures be taken from the government (all three levels of government), municipalities are haphazardly bidding these filthy contracts to hang the visually disturbing advertisements along the high-speed road. Visual pollution is something that needs to be vastly reduced, if it can't be eliminated, along the Highway because these are some of many causes that distract the drivers leading to unintentional accidents. When you are driving in speed, you surely throw a glimpse to that hoarding board placed overhead. It should not be reiterated here that distraction of vision even for half a second costs many lives on the road. Then why are these immature decisions keep recurring?

One thing, when there are potholes in the road, they remain there for months. Come rainy season, they even get bigger. In the spring, they produce grit and dirt all to affect your health. Many potholes lie in wait for being patched until the asphalt disappears. But when it comes to money, like in this case, the things are already worked out. They bid a tender, contractors get the project and they start putting pillars overnight, placing a banner of advertisement. They are using public money in useless projects that not only visually pollute an otherwise open environment but also expedite the accidents to increase the public death toll.

If the decision makers, who often happen to be the public representatives of the municipality concerned, die for money, then prosperity is expected only in their speech. In real life you have to bear so many unfortunate consequences. The hoarding board that displays ads of some cements, rods or schools is a visual clutter of our sky. They are intended to be seen by the drivers and front-seat passengers. But truly speaking, it is not the time to see any of such nonsensical visual distraction while you need to fully concentrate on driving.

If you can’t improve the appearance of the city, please don’t further degrade its aesthetics. If you have to favor your relative or a donor, please give them some other tenders elsewhere. Road is not something you play on dirty because it takes the lives of innocent people. Leaders, please be sensitive and decide wisely: let’s not exploit the highway surroundings to fulfil trivial human desires.  

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