The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has intensified its efforts of removing and keeping a check on illegal hoardings across the city. The civic authority has now decided to set up night squads in order to keep an eye on people who put up illegal hoardings, especially at night and during festivals such as Holi.
On March 13, the Bombay High Court issued an order to city administrations asking them to remove illegal hoardings and banners within 24 hours. The BMC put to work about three times its usual manpower and vehicles to speed up the activity. Work started at 7 am and went on to 11 pm and the authorities could successfully remove over 5,000 illegal banners of which more than 4,000 were political banners and posters.
Additional Municipal Commissioner, Mohan Adtani, said that the BMC will not tolerate illegal hoardings and banners and will prosecute the culprits in future. “We will also be setting up night squad as illegal posters, banners are often erected during night time,” Adtani added.
“We have licence department staff and vehicles available in all 24 wards and a team will take night rounds and keep a close check on illegal banners. If a person is found at fault, we will prosecute the guilty,” added Adtani.
When asked about Holi and whether he expects illegal banners to crop up around this time, Adtani said, “Until a political banner policy is framed, we will not allow any political banners or posters even during the festival.” The BMC will take at least 2 months to make a new policy for political hoardings, however until a new policy comes into force, no new permissions will be issued.
The number of banners the BMC removed soon after the High Court’s order to remove the illegal banners within 24 hours
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