Apart from the snail-paced traffic, incessant honking and the potholed roads, another nuisance has plagued the city for a long time now—illegal posters and banners. Humongous, ugly and often ridiculous posters are seen pasted across the city—they are pinned on the street lights, buildings, walls, fences, post boxes, private properties… and the list goes on.
However, the growing menace coupled with the civic body's lackadaisical approach towards putting an end to it has made the High Court grant the power to the city police to file an FIR, arrest and fine the person who puts up illegal posters and banners.
It isn't surprising to see that much like the sticky posters and banners, the offenders have also stuck to their guns; nothing seems to have deterred them. And now, with the festive fever gripping the city, the number of illegal posters has only increased—one can see large banners wishing people on occasions of Janmashthmi, Paryushana, Ganesh Chaturthi, etc.
We did a ground check of two South Mumbai wards—the D-ward and the G/North ward, and found several illegal banners and posters in areas of Dadar, near Kabutar Khana and the Kavi Keshavsut flyover; and in Mumbai Central at the AC market junction and the Vasantrao Naik Chowk junction.
Parag Masurkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, D-ward, says "Every morning around 6 a.m., the officers from my ward conduct rounds and so far, there have been no report on any such posters. The Ganesh mandals are allowed to put up the posters on their pandals. Apart from that, there are no posters and if we do find any, we will take action under the guidelines of the HC ruling."
Sharad Ughade, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, G/North ward, says, "We keep a constant vigilance on the entire ward for illegal banners and illegal posters. Now with the HC ruling, we have the right to file an FIR against people who put it up. Last year too, we had taken stern action against such people last year too, during the Ganpati Utsav. We make an extra effort during this time as there are several festive posters."