Metro pillars turn billboards,political parties make merryhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/metro-pillars-turn-billboards-political-parties-make-merry/

Metro pillars turn billboards,political parties make merry

While the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro line may take another year to be completed,political parties have already started using the partially-completed structure as advertising space

While the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro line may take another year to be completed,political parties have already started using the partially-completed structure as advertising space,without the permission of the authority in charge of the construction.

The pillars of the city’s first metro rail line on JP Road in Andheri are all sporting posters advertising Shiv Sena and party chief Bal Thackeray. The Metro corridor is being constructed by Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) — a consortium of Reliance Infrastructure,Veolia Transport and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

“We have not granted permission to the political party to put up posters. We have already instructed MMOPL to remove the posters,” MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawathkar said.

An MMOPL official said while the consortium ensures the aesthetics are maintained,it’s beyond its control to contain the sticking of hand-bills and posters.

Advertising

“However,we carry out periodic cleanliness drives along the metro alignment,” the official said.

According to the Maharashtra Prevention of Defacement of Property Act,if any person,by himself or through someone else,defaces any place that is in view of the public shall on conviction be punished with imprisonment of up to three months or a fine of up to Rs 2,000,or both. The advertiser would be exempt from this punishment only if he has sought written permission from the local authority having jurisdiction over the area in concern,the Act says.

Anil Parab,Sena Vibhag Pramukh,said,generally the party puts up posters only when there is some big event happening in the vicinity and on the same day,after the event is over,the posters are pulled down.

“In this case,there was a Mr Universe world bodybuilding championship in the vicinity last week,so the posters may have been put up during that event,” Parab said. “I will have to look into whether they have been taken down,” said Parab,adding even during such events the party should take permission.