Mayor's birthday celebrated by defacing Mumbai

Jul 12, 2012, 06:02 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

70 banners dotted Sunil Prabhu's constituency Goregaon (E) on his first birthday as first citizen. While the BMC admitted they were illegal, they did not bring them down

It’s the new mayor Sunil Prabhu’s first birthday in the hallowed seat of power, and one would be reasonable to expect fireworks and the usual trappings of celebration. But giving cakes, candles or party hats a wide berth, his well wishers from the Sena have chosen a far more unique — and illegal — method of wishing their beloved party leader on his 44th birthday — 70 illegal banners all across Gokuldham, Prabhu’s constituency in Goregaon (East).

Birthday bumps: Some of the banners greeting Sunil Prabhu near Gokuldham, Goregaon (E). Pic/Rane Ashish

The unusual birthday ‘gifts’ were noticed early on Wednesday morning — 70 hoardings across Goregaon, right up to the station.

MiD DAY has learnt that permission was not taken for from the BMC for any of the posters. Officers from the P South ward, where the banners were put up, confirmed this. Ironically, the BMC is run by the BJP-Sena-RPI alliance.

Flouting norms: Mayor Sunil Prabhu’s well wishers have put on illegal hoardings all across Gokuldham in Goregaon (East), greeting him on his 44th birthday. Pic/Rane Ashish

No action taken
The senior inspector of the license department, Pradeep Tare, said, “No permissions have been given from our end yet. We will take action against the hoardings immediately.”

Till the time of going to press, however, the hoardings hadn’t been removed. When MiD DAY called up Ranjeet Dhakne, the ward officer of P-South ward last evening to find out what action had been taken against the illegal birthday celebrations, he said, “I am not aware of any such illegal hoardings in my ward. Action will be taken right away to get rid off them.” Hours later, the banners were still making Goregaon an eyesore.

Every day, illegal banners are removed from the city streets, and records of this are maintained at the BMC office in Shivaji Market. When the deputy license superintendent B V Rane was asked how many hoardings were pulled off from the P/south ward yesterday, he said, “The report that I have shows that no posters were pulled down from P-South ward.”

The BMC removed 57 illegal political banners on Tuesday.

Ignorance is bliss?
Contacted by MiD DAY, Prabhu said, “My well-wishers have put up the hoardings. I’m not aware of any such illegal hoardings in my area as of yet. I don’t celebrate my birthday, and so I have ordered everyone at the ward office to pull down the posters. I don’t endorse any such illegal hoardings, even if it is put up for my birthday.” 

The day before
Illegal banners seem to be the new method chosen by the BJP-Sena to greet its leaders. The BJP flouted BMC norms in a similar manner on Tuesday when it welcomed the NDA’s presidential candidate P A Sangma to the city by pasting illegal hoardings outside the Indian Merchant Chambers office in Churchgate.

MiD DAY found out that all these hoardings were illegal. The banners were pulled down a few hours after a complaint was lodged with the BMC.  

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