They covered most part of the city — partly to beautify and mostly to hide civic agencies' unfinished work. However, little over 24 hours after the Commonwealth Games concluded, the "view-cutters", which were installed by the Organising Committee, started disappearing — reportedly taken away by rag-pickers and vagabonds, among others to make quick money.
These view-cutters and billboards, made with high-quality vinyl sheets and cardboards and put around Janpath, India Gate, Tolstoy Marg, were stolen in pieces.
"We received complaints from our men who went to remove the billboards after the Games that several of them were missing in various areas. They said that rag-pickers took them away and sold them to scrap-dealers," said a senior official with the OC, requesting anonymity, as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
The OC spent a staggering Rs 20 crore on these billboards and view-cutters. As many as 15, 000 view-cutters were manufactured for the Games.
According to scrap-dealers in the city, they bought these at a premium. Mahesh Majhi, a scrap-dealer in Seemapuri area, said: "A single cardboard-based Games view-cutter is bought by us for Rs 50. The vinyl sheet posters are bought for Rs 75. That is why rag-pickers steal them at night and sell them later."
On their part, the Delhi Police claimed that the OC did not register any complaint regarding the problem. Said Delhi Police spokesman Rajan, "We are yet to receive any such complaints."
Senior officials at the OC said the OC's plan was to keep a sizeable number of these view-cutters and sell the rest as scrap.