After a civic activist complained that a banner was blocking the traffic signal along the Palm Beach road in Vashi, the civic administration swung into action and removed the banner within a day. The banner was put up by the followers of a former MLA as a birthday greeting.
Civic activist B N Kumar raised the illegal banner issue with the NMMC commissioner and the police, pointing out that the hoarding conveying birthday greetings to a former MLA by his followers has totally blocked the view of the signal at the Kopri junction on Palm Beach Marg in Vashi.
He also sent an email to the civic administration and questioned how the civic body granted permission to such hoarding that blocked the traffic signal as well as the traffic. “Since the traffic signal is blocked due to a banner, the traffic police will punish motorists if they break the signal,” said Kumar.
The civic chief Bangar responded to the email immediately and marked the mail to Deputy Commissioners in charge of License and Zones 1 and 2. The banner was removed within 24 hours. A senior official from the License department said that soon after receiving the complaint, the banner was removed.
However, Kumar pointed out that there are many such junctions where temporary hoardings block traffic signals and suggested that NMMC and the police should jointly inspect the sites before granting permissions. “As the civic election is round the corner and there are a number of festivals lined up, similar hoardings may come up all across the city," said Kumar. He added that the civic administration should ensure that banners or hoardings do not pose difficulty to common people.
In June last week, NMMC issued 10 toll-free numbers to register a complaint regarding unauthorized hoardings, banners or posters in the city. The civic body has also warned citizens and agencies of legal action if they are found putting hoardings and damaging trees.
Apart from 10 toll-free numbers, the civic body has also issued a WhatsApp number to register complaints. Citizens were requested to send details with photographs on WhatsApp number 8422955912 if they find advertisements, hoardings, banners, or posters without permission.