Thane has a dirty weekend, courtesy neta's birthday

Jul 16, 2012, 06:50 IST | Naveen Nair

In the third case in a week, yet another instance of illegal hoardings has been found, this time marking the birthday of a local leader in Thane

While Mumbai has already seen its fair share of banners and hoardings to welcome and congratulate political leaders, neighbouring Thane has not been spared either. Hoardings celebrating the birthday of a politician got an unsanctioned two-day extension because of the weekend, when both the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) and the political parties responsible cooled their heels instead of taking them down.

Officials at TMC admit that political parties are given permission from the ward office to erect political hoardings in the city in case of any party workers’ birthday or party’s achievements. However, the permission is granted only for a limited period of time. It is then the responsibility of the concerned party members to remove the hoardings. But supporters of Shiv Sena and RPI (A) failed to follow the instructions on the occasion of their local leader Ganesh Wagh’s birthday earlier this month.

Same story, different day: The hoardings next to a junction at Vrindavan and near Central Jail. While municipal authorities had granted permission for the hoardings, they were not taken down on time and stayed put over the weekend. Pics/Sameer Markande

Ganesh Wagh, district-level leader of Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena celebrated his birthday on Friday and several supporters took the opportunity and wished him by putting up huge hoardings all around the city. On the same day, a medical camp for orthopaedic check-ups for citizens was also being conducted and the message was conveyed through the same hoardings. Sources in TMC said that the ward office had given permission for displaying these hoardings till Friday midnight, and party supporters were supposed to remove the same by Saturday morning.

Hoarding on space
However, MiD DAY found that the hoardings continued to remain at several important junctions, and even municipal authorities failed to remove them on Sunday. TMC cited the weekend as a reason for not removing these hoardings.

Officials at Thane Municipal Corporation said, “We do give permission at ward level to these parties to erect such hoardings. But we also instruct them to immediately remove the hoardings once the occasion is over. Several times, party supporters fail to comply with the norms and our trucks that patrol the city then bring these hoardings down. In this case, the birthday was on Friday and TMC trucks do not ply on the weekends and hence we had to wait till Monday.”

On the other hand, Mahesh Wagh, area corporator (Shiv Sena) said, “My brother Ganesh had requested not to put up any hoardings for his birthday but the supporters went ahead to convey their wishes publicly. While the occasion was on Friday, all our party supporters had a holiday on Saturday and hence the hoardings have not been removed. I have already given instructions to remove the hoardings and assure that the same would be done by Sunday evening.”

This is not the only case in Thane city where hoardings of political parties have been flouting norms. Several such billboards still deface the city, while causing inconvenience to citizens. When probed, officials at TMC also confirmed that political party supporters generally misuse the weekend holiday problem to illegally display their hoardings for a few days more.

Recent cases
July 11, 2012

Illegal posters congratulating NDA presidential candidate PA Sangma were pasted at Churchgate

July 12, 2012
70 illegal banners defaced Mumbai on the occasion of the Mayor’s birthday

In the public eye
Important junctions where the illegal hoardings were seen:

>> Opposite Uthalsar Chowk
>> Uthalsar Chowk
>> Near Central Jail
>> Near municipal market, Shivaji Path
>> Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marg
>> Meenatai Thackeray Chowk
>> Opposite Gate of Heaven Synagogue
>> Outside Thane Civil Hospital 

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