BMC relaxes the hoarding policy, says OK to hoardings of festivals







By Accommodation Times News Service

It seems that BMC is in the mood to give some relaxation to the just passed hoarding policy as under some political pressure has now okayed the banners wishing citizens for Christmas and EID. They have come up with a revised banner policy BMC came up with a revised banner policy in September, announcing a 100 per cent ban on political banners displaying congratulatory messages and birthday wishes. Political parties have also been barred from putting up banners during festivals or to commemorate birth and death anniversaries.
It further said that anyone caught putting up illegal hoardings could be fined Rs 1,000-Rs 5,000, besides a one-year jail term and an additional fineofRs50, 000asperSection3ofthe Prevention of Defacement of Property Act.

BMC’s License Superintendent Sharad Bande said, “Christmas and Eid have been exempted from the no banners policy following requests and suggestions by the group leaders representing their parties in BMC. The revised draft will be placed before the group leaders for approval.”

Bande refused to comment when asked whether such revision was a violation of the Bombay High Court order. In March this year, the High Court asked the civic bodies of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Mira-Bhayandar and Pune to rid their areas of illegal banners, and gave them just 24 hours for the clean up operation.
Politicians said BMC has put itself in a huge spot of bother for okaying banners for some festivals. Citizen corporate from Colaba, Makarand Narvekar, said the civic body shouldn’t have made any exceptions.

“This was bound to happen. People have every right to demand why banners are not allowed for their festivals when the ban doesn’t extend to a few festivals. Such exceptions will be used as excuses by the political parties to put up hoardings,” Narvekar said.
The BMC officials admitted as much. “There is a danger of the revised policy being misused,” a senior civic official said, “I also agree that we will not be able to do anything if politicians put up banners wishing people during festivals.”
Mayor Sunil Prabhu insisted the ban on banners was very much in place, with just a bit of tweaking.


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