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7,167 illegal political banners in Mumbai pulled down since Jan 2018

The civic body removed a total of 12,457 hoardings and filed 2,501 complaints in the course of 12 months

mumbai Updated: Feb 24, 2019 00:09 IST
Eeshanpriya M S
Eeshanpriya M S
Hindustan Times
mumbai,BMC,illegal hoardings
Illegal hoardings, especially those placed along city roads, cause a hindrance to motorists.(HT file)

Of the 12,457 illegal posters, banners, and flags removed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from January 2018 to January this year, 57% (around 7,167) were political in nature, revealed data from the civic body. While 3,136 hoardings were religious and 2,154 were commercial.

Over the course of the year, the civic body filed 2,501 police complaints and 655 first information reports (FIRs) were registered under the Maharashtra Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1995.

However, activists have alleged that the actual number of illegal posters and banners may be much higher, especially given that it is election season.

Bhagwanji Rayani, a city-based activist who had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in Bombay high court (HC) regarding the matter, said, “The number of illegal hoardings in the city is in lakhs. The figure peaks during festivals and around elections. So, the coming few months are likely to see many more hoardings.”

Activists have also said that BMC should take a stricter stand against the illegal hoardings. “Under the Defacement of Property Act, putting up illegal hoardings is a cognisable offence. In each case of an illegal hoarding, there should be an FIR,” said Rayani.

Another city-based activist Nikhil Desai said, “If there are 7,167 illegal hoardings across the city, there should be those many FIRs. They are rampant in the city because BMC fails to take action against them.”

Meanwhile, a civic official from BMC’s licence department said, “BMC has appointed an officer in every ward to keep illegal hoardings in check. There are two toll-free numbers for residents to complain. Every working day, ward-level licence department officers take rounds of the city in a BMC van and pull down illegal hoardings.”

First Published: Feb 24, 2019 00:08 IST