Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray is the latest politico to have his face line the city streets courtesy of party workers. While the 52-year-old had said he would be foregoing birthday celebrations this year, his fans on the other hand spared no expense to show their support, effectively draping Mumbai’s thoroughfares with banners yet again.
While civic authorities claim that the number of illegal political hoardings, banners and posters have gone down in the recent weeks, the city was still adorned with hoardings of Thackeray waving out, commemorating the success of his recent angioplasty, and various other political leaders wishing him on his birthday on Friday. The civic body took action against 64 banners and posters yesterday, of which 46 were political and 11 religious. An official said, “Vehicles to take workers to the location of the banners may not have been available at the ward office. There has been a shortage, because of vehicles being shared by the hawker-removal squad,” informed an official from the licence department of BMC. While political party workers who want to show their love and respect for leaders choose illegal ways, hoardings and banners have plagued the city for years now, with no solution in sight.
Superintendent of license department S Bande said, “The occurrence of illegal hoardings has gone down, especially for birthdays in the city. We are removing all illegal hoardings, banners and posters regularly.”
On mayor Sunil Prabhu’s birthday last month, 70 illegal hoardings were put up in his own electoral ward, while Aditya Thackeray’s birthday was surprisingly low-key. Interestingly, no permissions to put up any banners had been issued in the last three days.
Sheetal Vaidya from Khar said, “Now hoardings have become a general thing, and so many are put up in our area every now and then. Political parties have their own offices where they can put up all this stuff, but they choose to spoil the city, with the added danger of one of them falling on someone’s head.”