Mumbai is once again festooned with posters of all kinds because the festive season is upon us. Ganpati is on, soon we will have Bakra Eid, then there is Navratri and Diwali, which will be followed by New Year. It is celebration time for the city.
Mumbai’s walls are plastered with different hoardings, posters and banners, featuring the familiar mug shots of politicians across all parties, wishing people a happy this or a happy that. We can expect this to continue till the end of the year. The city has hordes of posters on mandals and pandals and on walls too, from politicians who are either being welcomed or congratulated, or giving some
congratulatory message to the public in turn.
Many of these posters are illegal and may be removed by the BMC in its clean-up drive, but, soon enough, they will be up again under some guise or the other. Political parties continue to defy the rules and put up posters of their party leaders and representatives. They particularly make the most of this time, the festive period, because there are thousands of people on the road. This means more attention, much more visibility and more eyeballs.
Mumbaikars are used to seeing the civic authorities in clean-up mode, taking down posters from walls. Soon enough though, they are back, all over Mumbai like wallpaper. It is unacceptable that some enjoy free mileage in a city, where corporates have to pay huge amounts to advertise their products. There should be a level playing field. Since everybody has to pay a good amount for hoardings in the city, others should not get away garnering publicity for free.
It is heartening to see awareness about eco-friendly idols and ‘go green’ festivals, with at least some effort to have environment-friendly celebrations. Let this include putting a stop to ‘illegal poster pollution’ too. Heavy fines may act as a deterrent to those who want to put up illegal hoardings on our public infrastructure. Keep our walls clean and free.