A Supreme Court bench on Thursday gave cantonment boards all over the country six weeks to remove the structures that used to hold up billboards.
A two-member bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Azmat Saeed, heard an ongoing case regarding the removal of billboards from all major cities in the country.
In October 2018, the Supreme Court had ordered the removal of billboards from public places across the country.
At the time, the then chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar had questioned as to under which authority some government institutions had allowed installation of billboards in areas under their administrative control.
Since then, drives were carried out in various cities to remove billboards from public spaces.
During today's hearing, the lawyer representing the cantonment board was asked why the structures that used to hold up the billboards in the cities have not been removed.
"A halfhearted job has been done; while the billboards have been removed, the structures that used to hold them up are still present," Justice Gulzar said.
The lawyer replied that advertising companies had been sent notices to remove the structures but none of them have made the effort so far.
"The board does not have the money required to do this task, it would take Rs1 million for us to take the operation on," the lawyer told the court.
Hearing this, Justice Azmat Saeed said: "Tomorrow the police will say the same, that they do not have the money required to arrest criminals. Removing the structures is the responsibility of the cantonment board."
"If advertising companies are not removing the structures, the cantonment board should auction them (the structures) off," Justice Gulzar said.
The lawyer for the cantonment board assured the court that the structures would be removed.
Before adjourning the hearing till after the summer holidays, the bench instructed that a report on the removal of the structures be presented to the court in six weeks.