Virtually Swachh? Hyd mayor Photoshops before-after street image, gets trolled
Mayor Bonthu Rammohan posted ‘before’ and ‘after’ images of a street – one with garbage strewn all over, and the second depicting a much cleaner version of the same area. Some, however, took a closer look at the post to find that the “after” image was simply a Photoshopped version of the first one.india Updated: May 14, 2017 21:29 IST
A post by Hyderabad mayor Bonthu Rammohan on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter about the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s efforts to make the city “clean and green” landed him in a spot of embarrassment on Saturday.
Rammohan posted “before” and “after” images of a street – one with garbage strewn all over, and the second depicting a much cleaner version of the same area. The photographs, both taken on May 8, were apparently posted to show the seriousness with which the civic body was implementing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
Some, however, took a closer look at the post to find that the “after” image was simply a Photoshopped version of the first one. While the garbage and grime were removed with a deft swipe of the computer mouse, the civic body staffers – in their typical shoddy style of functioning – had failed to crop out three people pottering around in the background. The final product was a laughable forgery.
The oddities in the post went unnoticed for the larger part of the week, before it went viral on Saturday. Netizens gathered in force to make the most of the mayoral gaffe, targeting him with sarcastic jibes. “Great work by Bonthu Rammohan, Mayor, Hyderabad,” commented one of them. “And kudos to the 3 people who posed for Swachbharatabhiyan for as long as it got wiped.”
Another commented on the ‘patience’ of the pedestrians caught in the frame.
The mayor eventually realised that he was not being praised in all sincerity, and the post was taken down.
Incidentally, Hyderabad was declared as India’s cleanest metropolitan city in the recent Swachh Survekshan-2017 list – trumping Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and New Delhi in the process.
Responding to the wave of social media responses, the mayor’s office lambasted those trolling Rammohan without “understanding the spirit of the post”.
Claiming that the post simply suggested the likely outcome of the civic body’s Swachh Bharat efforts, a government spokesperson said: “The mayor wanted to say that the civic body will try to implement innovative and effective ways to clear garbage, in which case the street will look like what this photo shows. He did not say even once that we have done anything like this in the city.”
But that didn’t stop trolls.