Will politicos refrain from defacing Mumbai?

With voting day (Feb 16) for the BMC poll nearing and code of conduct about to be relaxed, some time by Feb 21, it will be interesting to see for how long the political parties live up to the tall claims of refraining themselves from putting up 'illegal' hoardings that deface the city, which they made to the voters before the election.

Action plan: BMC officials remove one of the illegal hoardings that was
put up outside Bharatmata cinema at Parel yesterday. Pic/ Datta Kumbhar

BMC talks tough
Meanwhile, the BMC has chalked out its plan of action to deal with congratulatory hoardings that will mushroom all across the city once the results are out.

S B Bande, BMC's licence superintendent, said, "In case political parties resort to illegal display of hoardings, we will come down heavily on them. Apart from removing such hoardings, we will also prosecute them under Section 471 of BMC Act and Defacement Act of 1995."

Stringent measures
Bhagwanji Raiyani, convener of Janhit Manch, a city-based NGO, who has filed three public interest litigations in the Bombay High Court against illegal hoardings in the city, said, "Political parties can never unite for a cause and if they do, they never follow the terms of any such agreement as they claim. As soon as elections are over, congratulatory hoardings from different political parties will mar the city's landscape. This consistent problem can only be checked if there is a stringent order by the court and the resultant action is initiated by the corporation."

Seconding Rayani's opinion, Aftab Siddique, of Citispace NGO, who too has campaigned widely against illegal political hoardings in the city, said, "If only all the party heads sign a written manifesto to not deface the city with illegal hoardings and submit it to the BMC commissioner, only then they can be trusted for the credibility of their promises."

While Agni's Rajkumar Sharma said, "We are literally dreading the time post-BMC election when congratulatory hoardings from different political parties will compete for maximum visibility."

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