Mumbaikars not sure whether imposing penalties will deter political parties from erecting hoardings in the city.
Even though the Bombay High Court has imposed penalties on political parties for installing illegal banners across Mumbai, will the city remain free of hoardings in future? Often citizens have complained about illegal hoardings being installed at various locations of the city which are obstructing the view of buildings and historical places. Even trees are being cut or poised to make way for hoardings and posters in the city. Even though the BMC had started helpline numbers 1292/ 93 for reporting about illegal hoardings but they continue to mushroom across the city.
Sushil Seth, a Kandivali resident said, “Even though the Bombay High Court had ordered political parties to remove illegal hoardings from various locations many of them have not followed the order. Often hoardings are visible in the city during birth anniversary of politicians where party workers wish them. The BMC must take action against the erring political parties for violating court order.”
Tushar Singh a Borivali resident said, “Citizens have often called the helpline number started by BMC to report about illegal hoardings but no action is taken to remove them. We can only report about irregularities but it’s the duty of the civic body officials to take necessary action against violators.”
Vipul Dixit a businessman from Malad said, “These hoardings will come up in the city despite intervention by the high court as political party workers will erect hoardings to convey about the work done by them, political rallies and other events in the city.”
The Bombay High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, MNS chief Raj Thackeray, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, NCP leader Sachin Ahir and Raj Thackeray’s wife Sharmila Thackeray including 47 other leaders. If they fail to pay the penalty then it will be considered as contempt of court order. In the last hearing the High Court had asked BJP Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar and BJP MLA Parag Alvani to pay the penalty.
Shelar has given two cheques of Janakalyan Sahakari Bank of Rs 150,000 for chief minister relief fund. He has given a cheque of Rs 25,000 to the Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai and another cheque of Rs 20,000 of Punjab National Bank has been donated to the Mumbai Police Commissioner.
Parag Alvani too gave a cheque of Rs 40,000 to the Naam foundation. Thus a total amount of Rs 3, 60,000 has been collected as fine from political parties. Earlier several political parties had submitted an affidavit to the high court stating that they won’t erect illegal hoardings in the city. Despite this illegal hoardings continue to be visible in several areas of the metropolis.
On the other hand, political parties want the BMC to allot designated place to erecting hoardings which will serve as a public notice board in the city for notifying citizens about the developmental work done by them.