The Bombay High Court on Friday directed municipal corporations to immediately carry out a special drive to remove illegal hoardings in the state after taking note of complaints about a large number of illegal hoardings put up during the Ganesh festival.
The drive is supposed to be carried out till October 15 and prevent the same problem during Navratri.
A Bench of Justices A S Oka and A Menon were hearing two PILs, alleging that political parties, in total disregard to rules and laws, had put up illegal hoardings and banners all over the state.
Advocate Warunjakar, appearing for SuSwaraj Foundation, an NGO, and one of the petitioners, pointed out large scale violations during the Ganesh festival when hoardings and advertisements were put up on pandals without taking requisite permissions.
The court inquired when Navratri was scheduled to begin and was informed that it would be on the second week of October. The bench referred to an earlier High Court order where it had specified that separate permission was required for displaying hoardings, banners, etc, on pandals, besides the permission required from the corporations for building pandals, and directed the civic bodies to implement it.
“The municipal corporations shall issue orders to prevent illegal display of ads, hoardings, etc, on pandals or its vicinity for celebrating religious festivals. We direct the corporations to conduct a special drive to remove illegal hoardings, which shall commence immediately and be carried out till October 15. In case there is any obstruction by any political party, the corporations can move the court and give the names of the party or its workers,” said Justice Oka.
The court had also earlier directed political parties to set up a grievance redressal mechanism to prevent such activities. “The political parties should also inform us if they have set up such a mechanism and provide us with necessary particulars of action taken by in this regard,” said the court.
The court has also asked the corporations to provide them details of action taken from January 1 to October 10, 2016, in compliance to its earlier orders.
Earlier, parties like BJP, MNS, had been directed to pay up for putting up illegal hoardings, despite court notices.