BMCs decision to allow only two banners per Ganpati mandal during the 10-day festival this year is being criticised by various associations. More than 1,200 people gathered near BMC headquarters Monday to protest the decision.
BMC also banned political hoardings except those meant for social or educational purposes.
Mayor Sunil Prabhu wrote a letter to municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte asking for a separate policy to be framed to allow advertisements without overstepping High Court orders.
Girish Walawalkar of Brihanmumbai Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti said,The hoardings and posters are a source of about 80 per cent of our revenue,which will be reduced by BMCs decision to limit banners. The funds collected are used for social purposes.
BMCs decision comes at a time when mandals begin to looking for sponsors before the festival starts in September. Annually,BMC generates an income of Rs 3 crore from licence fees for hoardings put up by mandals. BMC said banners are supposed to be of uniform size,with the maximum being 10×10 feet.
Mayor Sunil Prabhu said the revenue generated by mandals from hoardings is their biggest source of income and is required for mandal activities. Without disrespecting HC orders about displaying political banners,BMC should form a separate policy allowing the display of legal hoardings. We understand the concerns of the HC about hoardings spoiling the aesthetics of the city,but they should be allowed for a limited time for the festival, said Prabhu.
Why are we being denied the right to put hoardings? BMC has not read the HC order properly, Walawalkar said. He said Prabhu had assured mandal owners that civic bodys directive is not final and binding.