While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Licence Department claims to have a strict action plan in place for illegal banners and posters across the city, it seems it has no control over the issue in its own house.
Some of the posters for the elections put up inside the BMC headquarters
The department has admitted its inability to take action against the candidates contesting the Municipal Co-operative Bank elections on February 28, who have covered every wall of the BMC headquarters and other civic offices with stickers and posters promoting themselves. They have not been fined for this.
The BMC’s Licence Department keeps watch and levies heavy fines on those who put up banners and posters around the city without their permission, but senior officials from the department said that their jurisdiction lies beyond the gates of the BMC building and they can’t take action within it.
Questioned about the posters, sources confirmed that the candidates have been putting them up for the past two days. Apart from the BMC headquarters at CST, its Worli Engineering Hub, the BMC Printing Press at Byculla and the 24 ward offices have also failed to escape the enthusiastic candidates’ posters.
Though Sharad Bande, superintendent, Licence Department, said that the stickers put up in the premises of the BMC offices are not permitted, he also mentioned that the area of the BMC premises doesn’t come within his ambit.
“It is the maintenance department of every concerned building that needs to look into the matter and take action as it is within the boundaries of BMC buildings,” said Bande. The maintenance officials of BMC headquarters were unavailable for comment.
'Officer on leave, hence no action'
After mid-day’s report about the illegal banners opposite the Traffic Police Department at Worli not being removed even after lodging a complaint on the official helpline number (‘BMC helpline for illegal banners is of no help’, February 12), a BMC official has now said that the concerned officer is on leave and so action will be taken only when he resumes duty.
BMC had claimed that the helpline numbers 1292 and 1293, would strictly follow a 24-hour action deadline. When contacted, Deputy Superintendent of Licences S Shaikh said, “When I came to know about the incident I visited G/South ward office.
The concerned officer was on leave and only when he resumes duty will we be able to take action against the illegal banners.” Shaikh had said before that they would take prompt action if the banners were found to be illegal.