Those guilty of putting up posters and banners illegally can be booked under the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfiguration) Act, 1981. A heavy penalty can be imposed, besides filing of police complaints. However, with the BBMP taking a soft stand against violators, there is nothing to deter various political parties from defacing the city.
Days after Rahul Gandhi, vice-president of All-India Congress Committee, visited the city, posters, flexes, banners and buntings featuring him continue to dot thoroughfares in the heart of the city.
Though the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has banned the putting up of such publicity material on roads in a two-km radius of Vidhana Soudha, they can be seen on both sides of Infantry Road, which is perpendicular to Ambedkar Veedhi.
A senior BBMP official said that the civic body’s advertisement department had on Sunday night removed all the publicity material put up on Basaveshwara Circle and K.R. Circle. “More than three lorry loads of publicity material have been cleared so far. The remaining flexes and banners will be removed soon.”
The official said that the Congress party had not sought permission from the BBMP to put up flexes and banners across the city. “We will discuss if a notice can be issued to the party,” the official said.
A Bharatiya Janata Party councillor, on condition of anonymity, said that political parties continue to put up publicity material without seeking permission from the civic body though the BBMP council has, on several occasions, passed resolutions against this practice. “Recently, when Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi came to the city, our party workers put up several flexes and banners. There is not much the BBMP can do when workers of political parties violate the rules,” he said.