Mumbai: BMC pulls down over 60,000 illegal banners in last three years

Out of the total number of banners removed in the last three and half years, 27,062 belonged to political parties.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Friday, September 23, 2022, 09:33 PM IST
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Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) license department has removed 60,110 illegal banners, boards and posters in the last three and half years. Out of these, more than 45% of banners belonged to political parties. Such banners are installed mostly at night, so it becomes difficult to find the person and fine leaving the BMC helpless and left only to file a complaint at the local police station.

The Bombay High Court recently sought the Maharashtra government's response on ways to remove illegal hoarding and banners that keep reappearing. According to the the date revealed by the civic body, 60,110 illegal banners were removed across the city betweem January 1, 2019, to August 31, 2022. But only 3,997 police complaints have been filed, while FIRs have been registered against only 20 % (775) and 1201 cases reaching the prosecution stage.

Out of the total number of banners removed in the last three and half years, 27,062 belonged to political parties. "Political party workers put up illegal hoardings defacing chowks, signals and junctions. We cannot find them because we don't know who is hanging them. It's the duty of the police to keep a vigil and register an FIR. We can only remove the banners, posters etc and take pictures of the banners and complain against the person whose name is on the banner under the Defacement Act. We file a case on unauthorised commercial hoarding in the Metropolitan Magistrate court who can be fined up to Rs. 5,000," a civic official said.

The police complaints have been filed under the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1995, which states 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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