Mumbai: 5,000 banners removed by BMC workers, but no fine collected yet

While having accomplished the mammoth feat of pulling down over 5,000 banners in the last 24 hours, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is yet to collect fines or file police complaints against people who have been involved in putting up illegal hoardings.

BMC workers
A couple of BMC workers remove an illegal political banner at Elphinstone Road. The civic body has been working round the clock after the high court ordered removal of all illegal banners in the city within 24 hours on Wednesday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

If this is a cause of concern, here’s something more the administration has not even filed an FIR with the police as sources at the BMC confirmed that registering an FIR is a lengthy process. Interestingly, the civic body has even failed to register FIRs against the 85,003 illegal banners removed in the year 2012. There were about 35 police complaints made by the BMC and 78 prosecution cases were filed but no FIR was registered.

A senior licence inspector, on request of anonymity, said, “There are no FIRs recorded as to register one FIR it takes about 3 to 4 hours and we cannot invest so much time in it.” The BMC had expected to earn huge amounts in revenue as the city administration had planned to fine people whose names were mentioned below the hoardings.

It had also planned to issue show cause notices to them and register FIRs with the police stations but none of it has been carried out yet. The amount of fines that could be levied may range between Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 depending on the kind and size of advertisement. Licence Superintendent, Bhagwan Sathe, said, “We have not filed any prosecution on these 5,315 banners that were removed as per High Court’s orders. Although, we are looking at ways to collect fines.”

FIRs registered by the civic body against illegal banners in 2012

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