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Illegal hoardings a headache for BMC

Thursday, September 13, 2018
By Prachi Sonawane

Despite court directives, numerous complaints and a Public Interest Litigation, the city hasn't been freed of illegal banners during Ganeshostav. While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) does take some action againsth illegal hoardings, organisers and supporters of some Ganeshostav Mandal oppose the officials who sometimes even get verbally abused.

Further, the civic officials also don't get police protection while taking action against the illegal hoarding, which sets a question mark as to how the BMC is supposed to take action amidst abuses and threats.

“In all 24 wards of the BMC,  the civic body has appointed a Complaint Officer (CO). While taking actions on such illegal matters during the festival, the CO needs to have two Police Constables along with him. However, these CO's do not get the much needed police protection, because of which they cannot do their duty properly,” said a civic official.

This year, the civic body will take major action against illegal hoardings that are put up along the roads during Ganeshotav, the official added.

Hoardings rules in Civic body’s policy
The policy has put no restrictions on the number of hoardings and advertisements allowed in a 100 metre radius of Ganesh pandals.

The civic body charges the organiser Rs 101 for every advertisement inside the pandal and Rs 125 for per hoardings in the 100 metre  radius of Ganesh Pandal. Citizens can complain against hoardings of the mandal that are blocking roads or pavements to a Complaint Officer (CO) who has appointed in all 24 wards of BMC. The citizens can all the Toll-Free No. 1916 to lodge complaints regarding the hoarding.

Regular action has been taken by the corporation against illegal hoarding. From January to August 2018, BMC has taken action against total 5729 illegal hoardings in the city. Meanwhile, out of the 5729 illegal hoardings,  police complaints have been registered against 1201 illegal hoardings and FIR against 478 people by BMC.

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