On one hand, the local authorities are leaving no stone unturned to make the city beautiful through eye-catching graffiti splashed across flyover walls and underbridge pillars but on the flip side, there seems to be no check on the unbridled defacement of the same walls by advertisements and posters glued onto these.
Several locals, especially the night security guards outside ATMs and shopkeepers who close their shops late at night have shared with HT that they have often observed that these posters are usually pasted on the city walls after 11pm and by morning, the number of these posters increases manifolds.
“It’s laudable that enthralling graffiti can be seen in different pockets of the city but it makes little sense if we can’t stop the ongoing defacement of walls. It is not that officials concerned are not aware of this practice as they also travel on same roads, walls around which are surrounded by infinite odd posters, but they prefer ignoring the issue,” said Tejbir Singh, a security guard. While a shopkeeper from Chaura Bazar requesting anonymity, added, “I feel may be those who put posters on walls bribe the officers. And, if the authorities seriously want to stop this malpractice, the only thing they need is enthusiasm to act against the violators.”
What comes as a shock is that some people have not even spared walls with newly painted graffiti and have defaced these with posters, without caring for the hard work of the graffiti artists.
Residents, mostly the youth, feel that if high penalties are slapped on defaulters, this practice will soon come to an end and the city walls will no longer appear shabby. A student Manraj Singh, 23, suggested, “Posters always have contact details and officials should contact the defaulting person/organisation and ask them to submit the stipulated fine immediately. No one should be spared.”
Ahead of elections, one can come across many posters of different political parties put up by their local wings. Besides these, posters of English language learning centres, study visa offices, employment offers and movie posters can also be seen. Some single screen theatres also put up posters of adult movies at different public places including walls outside bus stand and a railway station that many feel to be a cause of embarrassment for families travelling with children. Other than posters, some also prefer to paint the walls for advertising purpose which is another way of spoiling the city walls. On top of this, electric poles are also not spared.
Deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat and MC commissioner Ghanshyam Thori were not available for comment.