With a fierce electoral battle being fought for Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation poll, administration is now facing a tough time to keep the cityscape in shape in accordance with the model code of conduct.
Squads have so far seized 20 truckloads of posters since campaigning for the civic body poll got intensified from December 28.
“Last six days have been very hectic for our squads to clear banners and posters put up in public places. The collection of posters per day is not less than two truck-loads. We have so far seized 20 truckloads and stored those on premise of BMC office,” Election officer-cum-additional district magistrate Manoj Kumar Patnaik said here on Friday.
The model code of conduct says posters cannot be put up along roads which could distract vehicle drivers, or cannot be displayed in government offices. However, political parties pay scant regards to the code.
“As per provision, we are required to issue notice to candidates poster of which is found to be in wrong position. Thereafter, banners would be removed and the expenditure incurred on the exercise would have to be charged on the candidate. But looking at the staff constraint, we can hardly afford to follow the procedure. We are on our own removing the posters,” said Mr Patnaik.
Besides, it is difficult to attribute the poster to any candidate as in all likelihood the candidate would come out with explanation that it is conspiracy of opponents, he pointed out.
As the technology for printing posters and banners have improved compared to last elections, candidates do not mind their banners being seized by the administration. Thousands of posters could be printed in a night.
Around 250 to 300 officials in 10 squads now regularly patrol the city inspecting if posters are displayed at wrong place.
The Khurda district administration expects that by the end of the campaigning, the volume of seizure would grow by another 20 trucks.