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Illegal posters continue to deface SPPU campus

Apart from issuing repeated circulars, university officials have taken no other step to dissuade offenders from placing posters on the campus so far

Despite repeated circulars issued by Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) forbidding any advertorial posters from being pasted on the premises, the university campus continues to be defaced by several advertisements promoting events, products and even political parties and leaders.

Illegal posters
Illegal posters promoting political parties, as well as products and events (above and below), have been pasted all over the bus stops and walls in the 411-acre campus.  Pics/Dattatraya Adhalge

In a recent attempt, on September 9, SPPU had issued yet another circular, making it clear that it will not tolerate any kind of advertisements in the campus, and defaulters would be slapped with heavy fines. The circular mentioned that only posters that promoted events in the interests of students and staff would be allowed with prior permission.

Two weeks later, however, offenders continue to blatantly flout the ban and use the university’s 411 acres as their message board to plug products and events.

Illegal posters

Amongst many others, the NGO, Lokayat has pasted posters at several spots on the campus, promoting a film festival held on September 13. One can see these posters on walls and bus stops near the main building of the varsity. Not only has the NGO ignored the rules while placing the posters, it has failed to even remove them 10 days after the event.

Lokayat activist, Abhijit A M, said, “I am not aware of any such rule banning advertisements at SPPU. We had simply placed posters for our event at certain locations where several others do the same.”

However, when he was informed of the university’s ban on advertisements, Abhijit added, “It might be possible that in an attempt to reach to maximum students, some of our enthusiastic members had put up the posters at many places. But I will immediately ask our members to remove all of them.”

It’s not just the offenders who are taking the matter lightly. Apart from issuing circulars, the university officials have not taken any other step to dissuade the advertisers. Till date, SPPU has not fined any of them, and in failing to do so, has sent the message that it is not serious about the issue.

The Registrar, Dr Narendra Kadu said, “We have recently come up with a circular on the matter. But in the past too, we had made such attempts to ensure the campus does not get defaced.”

Asked why the university has not started imposing fines for illegal advertising, he said, “For that we have to make a policy and decide how much fine should be slapped on these advertisers. I will look into the matter.”

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