L. Renganathan

Noticeable lower level of noise pollution

KARUR: The fast-approaching poll to the four constituencies in Karur district is turning out to be a watershed event - not just in the political sense but also in the environmental sense.

The campaign by the AIADMK and DMK alliances is largely bereft of defacement of walls, besides the noticeable lower level noise pollution.The Election Commission has certainly sown the fear of demon in the minds of the campaign managers in the rival camps. During the Lok Sabha polls in 2004, the DMK local leaders acted fast in "reserving'' wall fronts and swathed them in the red and black colours well before the candidates list was announced. Subsequently, the DMK party heavyweight in Karur, K.C. Palanisamy, was declared the candidate.But this time around the case is totally different. Most of the walls in the town and elsewhere have been spared providing a refreshing change.

There are fewer "reservations'' and still fewer advertisements soliciting votes through private and public building walls. "This is good. The wall of my house was painted in party colours during the last Assembly polls and I could not resist the cadres then. Though the painting remains even now, I'm happy that a new defacement may not be there'', says A. Ardhanari of Manmangalam pointing to the old painting. The change in attitude is attributed to the poll panel's strict enforcement of the rules. That apart, the cut out culture that had spread its tentacles wide seems to be a thing of the past.

The huge flex and vinyl hoardings that have come to be associated with the visit of any worthy political leader is also absent.The vinyl and flex hoarding industry is a pioneering one especially in Karur where a large number of entrepreneurs have taken to the new way of reaching out to the people has suffered heavily due to the poll panel's orders restricting usage of hoardings, industry sources concede. They had grandiose plans, but had to shelve them in the face of the Election Commission's stand.The signs of a cleaner campaign can be gauged from the relative absence of loud speakers blaring propaganda songs and soliciting of votes.