In a drive against illegal hoardings, the Free Press Journal has received the maximum number of complaints from F north and H west civic wards. The illegal hoardings on the chowks and signals defacing these wards were found through these complaints. The civic official of these wards assured that action has been initiated against the menace. A designated team keeps continuous vigil and ensures the removal of illegal hoardings, they added.
The BMC's license department takes action on illegal hoardings defacing the city. The civic body annually removes around 15,000 to 20,000 illegal hoardings and banners. Out of it, 45% are for birthday wishes of any political party leader or festive.
The number of illegal hoardings increases mostly in the current festive season. According to FPJ's campaign, it has been noticed that most of the complaints of illegal hoardings have been received in F / North which comprises Sion, Matunga, Wadala and areas like Khar and Bandra West falls in H / west civic ward.
Gajanana Bellale, assistant municipal commissioner of F North said, "Our team takes a round early morning in the ward and removes the illegal hoardings at the spot. In the last one year, we have removed more than 5,000 illegal hoardings and banners and have filed FIR against 5. Our team keeps continuous vigil so that no illegal hoarding defaces the area."
Vinayak Vispute, assistant municipal commissioner of H West said, "Dedicated team of the licensing department takes action in the ward twice a week. The team of two inspectors, a lorry and 4-5 staff visits a certain road or area of the ward on the decided day and removes the illegal banners, and hoardings found in that area. Extra vigil is kept during the festive season, but it's a never-ending story so the action is a continuous process".
A senior civic official of the licensing department said, "Political party workers put illegal hoardings defacing the chowks, signals and junctions. We cannot find them because we don't know who is posting them. We can only remove them and complain against the person whose name is on the hoardings under the defacement act."
The police complaints filed under the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1995, state that a person can be fined Rs 2,000 or face three-month imprisonment, or both. An offender can also be penalised under the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act and fined between Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,000 for installing illegal hoardings or posters in the city.
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