With the civic administration turning a blind eye,politicians flouted rules on January 1 and put up banners all over the city wishing citizens happy new year,of course with a eye on the forthcoming elections. As per the directions of Bombay High Court,the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had launched a drive to remove all illegal hoardings,banners and posters across the city. Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar too had directed the administration to take action against everyone,including political leaders,who put banners and spoil the city.
However,the civic administration after the drive in March had slowed down action. To reach out to public,many political leaders have presently put up banners. There are banners showing city MP Suresh Kalmadi greeting citizens on new year while legislators from all the parties too have followed the same.
The PMC has not given permission to anyone to put on banners to greet citizens on new year. The permission has been decentralised at ward level and if the banners are to be put in jurisdiction of more than one ward office then the civic sky sign department have to be approached. There was no permission sought by city MP or legislator for putting up banners, said D G More,head of PMC sky sign department. He said he would seek a report from all ward offices on the banners put up in their respective area. If the ward offices are found to have failed in their duty of removing banners,then action would be taken, More said.
A Congress corporator said the banners put up by political activists without civic bodys nod is not a new thing. Its there with all the political parties. Leaders cannot be blamed for the publicity effort as many times supporters on their own put up banners of their leaders. The leaders are not even aware of it, he said adding the civic staff ignore it fearing action by the elected representative.
Meanwhile,the civic administrations idea to keep dedicated space at prominent city junctions for political hoardings have not found any takers. The civic administration had identified 50 such locations where political hoardings will be put up for a fixed period.