THE RULING party leaders’ passion for publicity through huge hoardings is proving an increasingly alarming traffic nuisance in the City.
The skyline at the Polytechnic Square is dotted with huge posters of the Chief Minister and other BJP leaders. Ironically, the area was declared ‘hoarding-free zone’ by the Bhopal Municipal Corporation and all the posters and hoardings were removed via a massive drive last year.
Then Principal Secretary, Urban Administration, Satya Prakash had led the drive. Safety of VIPs and traffic hazards were ascribed as the reasons for removal of the hoardings.
A year on, the Square is cluttered with more hoardings than before. At least four hoardings featuring the Chief Minister and other BJP leaders are installed on this square.
They are smilingly congratulating newly appointed State BJP president Narendra Singh Tomar and giving best wishes to local BJP leaders on their birthday. Incidentally, as State BJP president Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while talking to journalists after the Pachmarhi convention, had announced that the party would shun ‘pomp and show’.
It is estimated that some 200 hoardings were installed in City on Tomar’s appointment as party chief. Not only Polytechnic Square, most of the hoardings and posters put up across squares or roads in busy areas have photographs of the Chief Minister or some other BJP leaders.
Hoardings featuring the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleague Gopal Bhargava informing about a government scheme also adorn the Roshanpura Square.
Congratulating leaders on their birthdays or on some appointments through big hoardings has become a common practice among BJP workers. Recently, about a dozen hoardings were also put up on appointment of members in district Antyodaya Samiti. Several hoardings informing about the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission were also put up in the City.
A flex hoarding costs between Rs 10,000-25,000. However, the advertising companies don’t charge BJP leaders for using their hoardings. They admit helplessness about it.