With polls coming soon, they are 'greeting’ people through banners, posters

It was an assault on the senses. With huge banners and posters covering up the facades of most buildings on Audugodi Main Road, it was literally a case of visual pollution.

On the occasion of “Audugodi Ooru Habba”, political leaders of several parties chose to put up posters “wishing” the residents. Posters of political leaders from opposing parties literally vied for space with each other.

With Assembly elections just a few months away, various political parties are using every opportunity that comes their way to further their interests and up the chances of their candidates’ victory.

A shopkeeper in the area said that he was a resident of Audugodi for the past 15 years and had never seen such a big deal being made of the local festival. “Even before, a few banners used to be put up near the grounds where the actual celebrations are held each year. Never have I seen so many posters being put up. All this is surely because of the elections,” he said.

The High Court of Karnataka has time and again directed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to rid the city of these illegal and unauthorised hoardings, flexes, posters, banners, cut-outs and buntings, to no avail. Every festival, thousands of such posters come up across the city.

The High Court had also directed the BBMP to make political leaders, whose photographs are printed on the posters and banners put up illegally, as co-accused in the criminal cases booked for disfigurement of public places, then automatically their followers will fall in line.

The BBMP claimed that over the past week, a drive was taken up in all the eight zones and over 13,000 flexes, posters, banners, cut-outs and buntings that had been put up without its permission had been removed. In all zones, enforcement teams had been formed.

These teams have been removing the illegal flexes, posters, banners, cut-outs and buntings at night during their rounds.

According to the law, those found guilty of putting up posters and banners illegally can be booked under the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfiguration) Act, 1981.

Though the Act states that heavy penalties can be imposed along with police case being filed against the accused, it has not been a deterrent.

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