The BMC’s plan of working with politicians to rid the city of illegal banners seems to have fallen flat on its face. Still recovering from a festive two-day break, the civic agency dragged its feet yesterday in the matter of removing illegal banners put up on the occasion of Dahi Handi, managing to bring down only 78 of them in the city.
Posters were seen festooned to walls and pillars in areas where Dahi Handi celebrations were taking place. Pic for representation
The figure is appalling: last year, as many as 608 illegal banners were removed by the BMC in the two days following Dahi Handi, while 400 banners were taken down in the same period in 2012. The highest number of banners 23 of them was removed from K-East ward, which includes Andheri (East), Vile Parle (East) and Jogeshwari (East). Of the 78 removed yesterday by BMC workers, only eight were political banners.
In September last year, the BMC framed a new policy to curb the menace of illegal banners in the city. The policy that was drawn up banned all kinds of political and individual posters, banners or flex wishing individuals on birthdays, congratulating politicians on appointments, welcoming political leaders, or wishing people on festive occasions.
The policy only allowed banners measuring 10x10 feet to be displayed at religious festivals or political rallies, and that, too, on the day of the event and the two days preceding it and following it. Almost a year later, the group leaders at BMC are yet to pass the policy.
Sharad Bande, superintendent of licence at BMC, told mid-day, “There is an ongoing drive in the city, and today we managed only this much. But that doesn’t mean that our work has come to a standstill. Wherever there are illegal banners, action will be taken against them.”
Additional Municipal Commissioner Mohan Adtani, in charge of the licence department, said, “I’ve given orders for the removal of all banners, not just political ones. The number of posters removed should’ve been more. I will have to check on why such few banners were removed. Action will be taken against those putting up banners, and FIRs filed against those responsible.”