Deflecting from the usual scenario where 80% of Mumbai’s illegal banners, posters and boards were put up by political parties, civic records for April showed a drastic decline in the number of such banners.
Compared to the 7,209 political banners and posters removed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in March, only 98 such banners were removed in April. A massive drive was undertaken by the civic body after the Bombay high court on March 13 directed it to rid the city off illegal banners, posters and boards within 48 hours.
Civic officials attributed the drop in number to the ban on political banners following the HC order. “We also ensured uniform prosecution action against offenders irrespective of political links,” said Bhagwan Sathe, superintendent of licences, BMC.
Politicians said they were adopting alternative techniques to connect with people. “We are opting for methods such as distributing handbills,” said Asif Zakaria, Congress corporator.
Political leaders demanded a revised policy to regulate banners. “Although banners should be regulated effectively, they should not be completely banned,” said Dilip Patel, BJP leader in the BMC.