If you are the Mayor of Delhi, you not only know the law of the land, but also are familiar with the gaps.
Delhi Mayor Arti Mehra, an aspirant for the BJP ticket from New Delhi parliamentary constituency, has used this to her advantage and booked most legal outdoor advertisement spaces in the city.
According to sources, Mehra has booked legal sites such as poles, bus stops and garbage collection points for advertisements, aware of the fact that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has been cracking its whip on illegal advertisements.
Not only this, through an internal arrangement, Mehra has also booked these sites at nominal rates, as most of the sites were apparently lying vacant due to the economic slowdown.
“Mayor has booked a number of legal sites for advertisements and she is paying for them, too. Due to the economic slowdown, advertiser concessionaire are not getting much business so they are also happy to give out sites even if at a nominal rate,” said a senior MCD official.
Mehra has put up advertisements with slogans like ‘Women Power in Action; Delhi Dil Se’, in prominent South Delhi locations like Siri Fort, Green Park, area near Lady Sri Ram College, Malviya Nagar, Hauz Khas, Lajpat Nagar, ITO and Rohtak Road among others. “I want to connect to the people through a legal medium. I am paying for these sites, though not at the commercial rate. I have told the advertisers that if they get any advertisement at the commercial rate, they can remove my hoardings,” said Mehra.
According to MCD officials, Mehra has booked 250 poles, 20 bus stops and 20 garbage collection points for her campaign. Since Mehra has not been declared a candidate yet, her expenditure is also not under the Election Commission’s scanner. “If she is declared a candidate by the party, then she will have to pay the commercial rate for her advertisements, according to the Election Commission guidelines,” said the official.
The civic agency has taken action against 7,000 illegal advertisements till date. “We have also started filing FIRs against those involved in repeated violation and notices are being served on them,” said Amiya Chandra, additional deputy commissioner of Remunerative Project Cell, MCD.