Shiv Sena and Congress top the list of offenders this Ganeshotsav for putting up political banners and posters despite a High Court order earlier this year. The BMC has registered 43 offences against the Sena and 42 against Congress. It has now asked police to register FIRs in the cases.
BMC lodged 352 complaints for violation of norms,of which 169 were against political parties and 81 against commercial establishments. The highest number of complaints was against Ganesh mandals in Kanjurmarg,Kurla,Malad,Borivali,Andheri (east) and Dadar.
BMCs licence superintendent Sharad Bande said,We have written to the police to register FIRs against political parties that put up banners within 100 m of a Ganesh mandal. It is up to the police department to take action.
The licence department sent 23 complaints to the Andheri police station requesting for FIRs. Senior inspector Pradeep Gosavi said,We received the written complaints from the department. We will not be able to register FIR unless they approach us with more details.
After the HC ruling,revenue generated by BMC from permissions for posters and banners almost doubled as compared to last year. The civic body earned Rs 3.45 lakh this year. Last year,the figure was Rs 1.95 lakh. This year,we took strict action,especially against political parties,for defacing public property, said Bande.
BMC,however,removed most of the illegal banners (1,044) on September 19 a day after visarjan.
In March,the Bombay High Court had ordered BMC to remove all illegal posters. With Ganesh mandals earning a chunk of their revenue from political banners,BMC had allowed them on the condition they will not be put up within 100 m of a mandal.
If the FIRs are registered,the offenders face a fine of up to Rs 2,000 or imprisonment for up to three months,or both,under Section 3 of the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act,1995.