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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

With ban on posters, politicians turn to lanterns, notice boards

Vaishnavi Vasudevan, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 22, 2013
First Published: 02:51 IST(22/4/2013) | Last Updated: 02:53 IST(22/4/2013)

Despite the high court ban on banners and posters in the city and the subsequent Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) drive against illegal hoardings, political parties in the city have found innovative ways to advertise themselves and deface the city.

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From paintings and lanterns to posters on notice boards, some politicians have found a way to publicise their work without coming under the civic body's scanner, while others continue to flout the norms.

Last week, a local corporator put up a four-foot poster on a notice board outside the Vile Parle station, inviting the ire of citizen activists in the area.

"This is a clear case of contempt of court. Strict action has been taken against them. We have informed the BMC and are following up with them, but officials are just passing the buck," said activist Hina Shroff.

Some members of the Nationalist Congress Party have painted the walls outside the Sacred Heart School, Santacruz. "There are also illegal ads on dividers and electric poles, all along the Mahim to Churchgate stretch," said another activist Aftab Siddiqui. On state housing minister Sachin Ahir's birthday last month, his party members found a unique way to wish him - through a 10-foot lantern in Matunga. "Political parties can use social networking sites to publicise themselves, instead of defacing the city," said Siddique.

Recently, during BJP president Rajnath Singh's visit to the city, banners were back on  streets, welcoming him. The BMC claimed that these were brought down immediately.

The civic body, on its part, said that it would take action. "I will look into the matter and take immediate steps," said Rajendra Bhosle, deputy municipal commissioner (special).

The new draft policy on banners and hoardings is in the works but is yet to be approved by additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani.


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