Slamming the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for allegedly not taking steps to check illegal advertisements in the city, activist Qaneez Sukhrani claimed that civic officials and police were not taking a Bombay High Court order on the matter seriously.
The Bombay High Court had issued an order on January 31, 2017, on a PIL regarding illegal skysigns. “About a year after the High Court order, people started violating it openly. I have already filed a contempt petition last year against PMC for violation of court order,” she said, claiming it meant that no one in the PMC and the police had taken the trouble to read the directive.
“Senior PMC officials, the district collector and the state government are not taking the contempt petition seriously, which speaks volumes above the administrative lacunae and lack of accountability in Pune,” Sukhrani said.
“Last week, to welcome Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for his Mahajandesh Yatra, the PMC allowed the BJP to put up illegal hoardings, flexes, banners, buntings and posters, which completely defaced the city’s skyline and the environment. The PMC ignored these large-scale violations that BJP politicians resorted to. Looking at this, other parties like NCP, Congress, Shiv Sena and AAP also took advantage and jumped on the bandwagon by putting up their illegal skysigns,” she added.
It has been reported that 4,331 illegal skysigns were removed, Sukhrani said, but added, “The figure of illegal skysigns erected is at least 20 times higher than before and it is the administration’s duty to ensure that no illegality is allowed.”
She said statements by political leaders, including the chief minister’s remarks saying he would stop party leaders from putting up hoardings, were not right when there was a High Court order on the issue.
“In view of the High Court order, the PMC must reply as to why it will not file a police complaint against violators, those who have put up illegal skysigns and their political parties. Why should public money pay for expenses incurred for the removal of offences and violations?” she said.