Adopting a tough stance on illegal hoardings defacing Mumbai, especially those put up by politicians and their cronies, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the BMC to get the city rid of them and report back to the court by Friday. The high court also asked the municipal corporation to issue notices to the people whose names and pictures appear on these hoardings and follow it up with appropriate action against them.
Mumbai Mirror had carried a prolonged campaign against illegal hoardings in 2011-12. It was helmed by former Test cricketer and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar. The
campaign titled “No Chamchagiri on our walls’, which led to an outburst of anger against politicians, had kicked off with the cricketer putting up hoardings congratulating his maali for his outstanding service.
Hearing a bunch of public interest litigations, the division bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice A P Bhangale warned that the municipal commissioner by not
initiating action against illegal hoardings is running the risk of “becoming a co-conspirator in the offence.” The court was in no mood to entertain any delaying tactics. During the hearing, when a lawyer representing the BMC insisted the corporation is taking action against illegal hoardings and sought two weeks’ time to file an affidavit, the court snapped, “We don’t want an affidavit. We want you to take action and then inform us about it.Everywhere we are seeing hoardings defacing the city’s skyline. Majority of these banners are of political parties.
”Giving the example of Satara Municipal Council, which managed to remove all illegal hoardings in a week after a court order, the judges said: “If Satara Municipal
Corporation can manage this in a week, the Mumbai Municipal Corporation with all its infrastructure should be able to do the job in 24 hours.”
Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte told Mumbai Mirror that he has already issued instructions to his officers to comply with the court order. “Additional Municipal Commissioner Mohan Adtani, who heads the BMC’s anti-hoarding drive,has been directed to remove all illegal hoardings in the next 24 hours.We will implement the court order,” he said.Manjrekar, who is in Mohali commentating for a TV channel on the ongoing India-Australia Test series, said he was delighted to hear about the court order.
“Millions of citizens of this city, including me, would like to see the city, especially the important junctions, free from such hoardings.” He said the buck must stop with the municipal commissioner. “It is his job to serve the citizens of this city and give them a city which is not defaced by illegal hoardings. And if he is not able to do that, then he must explain.”
The court has issued similar instructions to the municipal corporations of Thane, Navi Mumbai, Mira-Bhayander and Pune.
Source : MM