BJP tells civic bodies to advertise achievements

South Delhi Municipal Corporation plans publicity campaign

Updated - March 29, 2016 02:12 pm IST

Published - August 09, 2015 12:00 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Another round in the poster war for Delhi will start next week, with the South Delhi Municipal Corporation planning on putting up around 500 hoardings touting its achievements.

Though all three Bharatiya Janata Party-run municipalities were told by the high command to publicise their schemes and achievements, the North and East Delhi civic bodies will not be launching a campaign for lack of funds.

According to sources, senior BJP leaders told party councillors to counter the Aam Aadmi Party government’s campaign, which has seen hoardings informing the public about its accomplishments.

The Delhi government, however, ran into some trouble for its advertisements. Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken filed a PIL in the High Court over the “political ads”, which the government admitted had cost Rs.22.3 crore for a month.

Meanwhile, SDMC Standing Committee chairperson Radhey Shyam Sharma told The Hindu on Saturday that the campaign will be rolled out within a week.

“There is negative perception that the corporations don’t work. We will let the public know about all our welfare schemes, development works and other achievements,” said Mr. Sharma.

He added that though the campaign will not target Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal directly, the SDMC will highlight the fact that certain schemes were suffering due to delay in funding from the government.

“We will not target anyone like Mr. Kejriwal did in his hoardings, addressing the Prime Minister. But, if our rightful share of funds is continued to be held back, we will inform the public why pensions are delayed,” said Mr. Sharma.

The campaign will include hoardings installed on SDMC properties, like office buildings, schools, parks, etc. A senior SDMC official said since hoardings will be put on “free sites”, the cost incurred for the campaign will not be much.

As many as 500 SDMC properties will be utilised for the campaign, the official further said.

Some of the likely messages on the hoardings will be that the SDMC disburses pensions to 80,000 widows, senior citizens and differently-abled persons, educates 3.13 lakh students, and gives them free uniforms, books and stationery. Other messages will say that the SDMC has started a scheme to put 8,000 park benches and install open gyms in all 104 wards.

While Delhiites can expect these hoardings to go up next week in South Delhi, North and East Delhi will not see any publicity material from the civic bodies.

North Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Ravinder Gupta said since the civic body was struggling to pay employees’ salaries it will not be spending any money on advertising.

“We don’t have a publicity budget as huge as the Delhi government. We are unable to disburse pensions as the government is withholding our dues, so we will not waste money on hoardings,” said Mr. Gupta.

However, he added the civic body had launched an outreach programme where grievance redressal camps are held once a month in each ward.

The East Delhi Municipal Corporation, the worst off of the corporations, will also not be launching any campaign, but it does release an annual booklet, titled ‘Aakalan’, which highlights its achievements.

The North and East civic bodies will not be launching a campaign for lack

of funds

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