After successfully flouting the norms governing the display of political banners during Ganeshotsav, corporators are now hopeful of continuing with the trend in Navratri as well, but with the blessings of the authorities. They are planning to ask the BMC for permission to display political banners, and also relax the rule that made posters illegal if they were put up beyond 100 metres of the pandal.
On the other hand, the BMC, having suffered the insult of having its diktat largely ignored by politicians and mandals during Ganeshotsav, has decided to apply the existing rule during Navratri festivities, allowing sponsorship banners within 100 metres of a Navratri mandal.
Meanwhile, banners and posters put up during Ganpati festivities continue to deface the city, even though permission for them had only been granted for the duration of the 10-day festival, which ended on Wednesday.
Dilip Patel, group leader of the Bhartiya Janata Party, said, “It was after many months that we saw banners in the city. Such permissions should be given during festivals. The BMC needs to relax the rule that allows banners only within a 100-metre radius of pandals. They should permit posters in a much larger area.
Meanwhile, the BMC wants to come down harder on rule-breakers.
Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner who is in charge of the licence department, said, “After what happened in the Ganpati festival, we want to be more proactive and would remove the banners right at the time they are displayed. We will continue with the rule of allowing banners within 100 metres of mandals, but we will be more strict in pulling down those banners which are displayed beyond this point.”
He added, “I was expecting the banners to be completely cleared from the city on Thursday, but I am disappointed. The Ganpati banners will be completely pulled down by Saturday and the necessary action will be taken against the mandals found guilty of not pulling them down.”