Though the civic body, spurred by a Bombay high court directive, pulled down 6,294 illegal banners and posters on Thursday and Friday, in what smacks of a half-hearted effort, it did not maintain details and records of any of them.
This means no action will be initiated against those who put them up, 80% of whom are political functionaries.
The civic body claimed it could not have filed prosecutions in the short span of 24 hours given by the court to remove the banners, but said it would begin initiating action against offenders from Saturday.
“We have decided to initiate prosecution against the well-wisher whose name is mentioned on a banner, from Saturday. Launching legal action or filing a police complaint is a time-consuming process. A detailed inspection report of each banner removed needs to be prepared for it,” said Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner.
Civic officials, however, said legal action would effectively begin only from Monday.
“We will start filing prosecutions next week as per court orders by clicking photos and noting the names that appear on banners in the city. If a single offender is difficult to identify from a banner, we will locate the nearby political party office and enquire for details,” said Rajendra Bhosale, deputy municipal commissioner (special).
Activists have criticised the civic body for failing to take stringent action against repeat offenders and have decried its leniency in taking action against political parties.
Officials though say that formulation of a policy to regulate and reduce the number of political banners in the city is in process. “The draft of the policy aimed to reduce and regulate banners in the city is expected to be ready in a month. It would then be displayed on the civic body’s website for public suggestions and objections before it is finalised for implementation,” Bhosale said.
The civic body had earlier announced that until a new policy is finalised, it would not issue licences for any political banners and posters.