Illegal Hoardings Persist Across Pune, Residents Express Concerns

Illegal Hoardings Persist Across Pune, Residents Express Concerns

According to PMC, they have demolished 97 hoardings and issued notices to the owners of 236 hoardings in the last two months

Indu BhagatUpdated: Monday, July 08, 2024, 03:49 PM IST
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Illegal Hoardings Persist Across Pune, Residents Express Concerns | FPJ

Despite Pune Municipal Corporation's (PMC) claims of removing illegal hoardings and taking action against them, the reality appears quite different. Hoardings can still be seen on almost every road and road divider in the city.

According to PMC, they have demolished 97 hoardings and issued notices to the owners of 236 hoardings in the last two months. Meanwhile, residents are expressing concerns as these illegal hoardings not only contribute to visual pollution but also cause traffic congestion. Recent incidents of hoarding collapses, such as the one in Mumbai's Ghatkopar where nearly 20 people died, have heightened these concerns.

Haresh Bharwani, a resident of Kalyani Nagar, commented, "Nowadays, it's become fashionable to put up hoardings for everything, even for birthdays. These hoardings are erected by ex-corporators, MLAs, and political parties. They pose a risk to commuters. PMC claims they are taking action, but from Kalyani Nagar to Pune Airport, the entire stretch is filled with illegal hoardings. Worst of all, these hoardings are mounted on metro pillars, which is illegal, yet rules are being flouted and the civic body fails to take action against them."

"We have reached out to PMC so many times, and our issue remains unresolved. We even posted our grievance on PMC Care, but no action has been taken," added Bharwani.

Another resident shared, "Last year, there was a hoarding on Sinhgad Road. I didn't notice it and got badly injured on my forehead, which still hurts. These hoardings are hazardous with nails and rough wood, and they obstruct the walkway."

"The complacency of civic officials and their dismissive attitude towards residents' concerns are alarming. The city is vulnerable, with towering hoardings posing a persistent threat to public safety," he emphasised.

Meanwhile, Additional Municipal Commissioner Prithviraj BP stated, "We have issued 236 notices to owners of illegal hoardings so far. We will assess the stability of these hoardings and decide which ones need to be removed."

Last week, Shivajinagar MLA Siddharth Shirole raised the issue of illegal hoardings during the monsoon session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), he wrote, "It is imperative to hold accountable those who compromise public safety for personal gain. During the monsoon session of the State Legislative Assembly, I highlighted the alarming rate of accidents caused by illegal hoardings. Despite the government's clear and stringent regulations on hoardings, including specific height and width requirements, there has been blatant disregard for these rules. The failure to enforce these regulations properly, often due to collusion between certain officials and hoarding owners, has led to numerous preventable accidents."

He added, "I strongly demanded that the government not only rigorously enforce these hoarding regulations but also conduct regular and thorough audits. It is crucial to hold accountable those who compromise public safety for personal gain. We must ensure that these accidents stop, and prioritise the safety of our citizens above all else."

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