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BMC promises to make Mumbai banner-free in next 3 days

The civic body has removed 3,000 illegal political, commercial and religious posters and other publicity material over the past six days; Congress guilty of having most number of such banners

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is coming down hard on illegal banners and posters in the city — especially political material.

While Congress topped the list for illegal banners, BJP and Shiv Sena were not too far behind. Pics/Nimesh Dave, Sameer Markande
While Congress topped the list for illegal banners, BJP and Shiv Sena were not too far behind. Pics/Nimesh Dave, Sameer Markande

According to an internal report by the BMC’s licence department, officials have pulled down 3,311 unauthorised publicity material from March 1 to March 6. Of these, 2,624 were political posters, banners, boards, and flags. The rest were religious and commercial announcements.

The Congress was guilty of defacing the city with the most number of banners after the election code of conduct kicked in. Several of them welcomed party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who was in the city on Thursday.

However, Janardan Chandurkar, the Mumbai Congress chief claimed the party removed all posters and banners after code of conduct was imposed. “I agree many banners were erected, as our leader Rahul Gandhi was coming to the city.

But after the code of conduct was enforced, I instructed all party workers to remove all banners before the BMC had to do it,” said Chandurkar. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is second and Aam Aadmi Party showed up in only 4 such instances (see box).

Plan of action
Civic authorities now plan to file an FIR against sponsors of all such publicity material, and will also issue show-cause notices to them. They also claimed they would rid the city of the eyesores within the next three days. “I am writing a letter to the deputy commissioners of police of all zones in the city, asking them to take serious note of these FIRs.

We will remove all illegal posters and banners in the next 3 days to make the city poster and banner-free,” said Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner, city. Mayor Sunil Prabhu said he too has instructed the administration to remove all such illegal posters and banners.

Punishment for defacement
>> Under Section 328 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, the fine for displaying illegal banners, hoardings or posters is R1,000-R5,000 depending on the size of the display material
>> Also, under Section 3 of the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1995, lawbreakers can be fined up to Rs 2,000 or imprisoned for three months or both

>> BMC to file FIRs against sponsors of the banners
>> Claims city will be free of banners in the next 3 days
>> Besides political, there are also religious and commercial announcements

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