The Bombay High Court on Friday directed all the municipal corporations in the state to remove all illegal hoardings, banners and posters – most of them put up by political parties – by March 21.
A division bench of judges SJ Vazifdar and BP Colabawala stated, "The law is clear on no defacing of public roads, only the implementation by the authorities is lacking."
The judges gave the direction after advocate Uday Warunjikar, representing Suswarajya Foundation, informed the court that after it had on March 15, 2013, directed the authorities in Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Navi Mumbai to take down illegal hoardings within 48 hours, the entire corporation went into overdrive to get them removed. But the hoardings and banners have come up again and this would get worse in the forthcoming elections.
"If these political leaders, MLAs and MLCs say no to such hoardings the issue will be solved," the judges said.
The judges directed the corporations to also file an affidavit describing the steps taken to comply with the March 15, 2013 order. The affidavit should state the complaints received on illegal hoardings and the action taken by the authority on each complaint.
The petition by Suswarajya Foundation focused on Satara, stating that political parties had put up many illegal banners and had not paid the charges to the municipal council.
The council was losing substantial revenue. Therefore, the foundation made representations to the council on three occasion, but it received no response, and this is why it approached the court.
The judges said, "Bring down the hoardings of ten prominent personalities and the rest will fall in line. Don't show us your helplessness. Today, if you visit any city, is it to your liking? Claim the city and beautify it."