ANDHRA PRADESH

‘Poster boys’ are an eyesore

Action please: Flexi boards and banners on a heritage structure in city. -

Action please: Flexi boards and banners on a heritage structure in city. -   | Photo Credit: PHOTO : P.V. SIVAKUMAR

R. Ravikanth Reddy

Flexi boards put up by ‘netas’ are spoiling the landscape



In many cases municipal permission ignored

Huge boards obstruct traffic flow and distract drivers



HYDERABAD: The pictures smile, the content promises heaven and the message is sent that the messiahs of the poor have arrived. Yet, they are an eyesore and a blot on the landscape of the city as far as the common man is considered. The self proclaimed leaders and all and sundry appear on the city roads posing themselves as the leaders on the vinyl sheets, popularly called as flexis.

They come in different sizes and shapes and dot every lane and bylane in the city leave alone the main thoroughfares. Every pole and lamppost on the roads is wrapped with these self-styled leaders giving a go-by to the norms. The mandatory permission from the municipal authorities is seldom taken and they don’t bother if those sheets protrude on to the roads disturbing the movement of vehicles. “Invariably these sheets tied to the lampposts scrape my car every time I pass through RTC Crossroads,” says Srinivas, an engineer in a private firm.

They have become a menace to vehiclists disturbing the concentration of the drivers. “We cannot escape the imposing pictures and invariably get distracted leading to accidents,” says Vinod, a driver in Uppal. Lot of employees and students find these “forced leaders” bit hilarious. “Majority of them look like jokers posing as if they are the only guys possessing a mobile in the world. Some wave as if they have bagged a gold medal for the country in Olympics or fought against the Britishers,” says Spandana, a B.Tech student.

Though permission has to be obtained from the Advertising Department of the GHMC for every banner tied to the pole or hanged to a wall only a few people actually pay the prescribed amount and take it. “Small time leaders of political parties displaying them in the lanes and by-lanes rarely adhere to rules. If they are from the ruling party officials don’t even dare to ask them,” says an official. He, however, says they are removed whenever pressure builds up from higher officials.

But these “poster boys” re-appear with much renewed vigour as flexis are dead cheap compared other forms of promotion. The printers charge Rs. 14 per sq ft for designing and printing while it is around Rs. 10 for only printing work. The price comes down if the leaders are regulars, which is the case, or order in bulk quantities.

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