Scrambling to beat the 24-hour deadline set by the High Court for the civic administration to remove all illegal billboards,hoardings,posters and banners in the city,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) removed almost 2,000 of these by Thursday evening.
Civic officials who planned to work late into the night said that by Friday morning the city would have rid itself of 4,000.
We deployed all civic machinery to clamp down on illegal hoardings. Our action will continue late into the night and we plan to remove at least 4,000 of these, said Mohan Adtani,Additional Municipal Commissioner on Thursday late evening. According to a civic official,most illegal posters were of political parties.
The High Court had taken the civic body to task and directed it to remove illegal advertisements and banners within 24 hours.
The HC order came following a petition by Thane activist Prabhakar Chaudhari. Observing that the majority of hoardings and banners belong to political parties,the court had also asked the civic bodies to issue notices to persons whose names or photographs are printed on illegal hoardings.
Although it had earlier claimed that a 24-hour deadline will be difficult to follow,the civic administration now claims there will be 100 per cent compliance of the court order. Taking note of measures taken by Satara Municipal Corporation to remove illegal hoardings,the High Court had ordered a crackdown of illegal hoardings in the Mumbai.
According to a senior civic official,the BMC had earlier removed over 2,000 illegal hoardings and posters between March 1 and March 13. Every month,on an average,the BMC pulls down roughly 2,500-3,000 illegal hoardings,although the actual number may be higher.
Based on data collected over a year,more than 70 per cent of them are political banners.
The drive is a positive move and Shiv Sena has always backed the administration in such issues. It is very important that all illegal political hoardings in the city are removed so that the city looks beautiful, said Yashodhar Phanse,Shiv Sena corporator and Leader of the House in the civic body,who added that all other parties should also desist from putting up illegal hoardings of their leaders.
The petitioners lawyer Sagar Joshi said they had urged the court to direct the removal of illegal banners and posters and initiate action against corporation officers who fail to act against them.