War against flex, hoardings in offing

The gangmen removing an illegal hoarding at a junction, inMysore. A file photo

Once again the district administration is talking of going tough against flex and illegal hoardings that are rampant in the city.

Be it a birthday, death or arrival of their favourite political leaders the hoardings are put up at prime locations to catch the attention of citizens. Recently, an officer of the Mysore City Corporation was heckled by a group of youths when he tried to stop putting up a flex at the busy Ramaswamy Circle.

The officials concerned of the MCC were hesitating to remove illegal flex and hoardings with absolutely no support from the top brass. But now Deputy Commissioner Harsh Gupta has vowed to put an end to the menace of illegal flex and hoardings in the city. He has made it mandatory for anybody who wants to put up flex and hoardings to take permission from the commissioner of MCC.

Even the assistant commissioners of all zones are asked to take note of all illegal publicity materials that are put up in their respective wards and report the same to the commissioner. Those who violate the rules will face criminal case as well as hefty fine.
Although it was a delayed action it is happy that the district administration has made up its mind to act tough on illegal hoardings. The MCC, due to pressure from elected representatives and political parties, has failed to take action on such hoardings and this has made the deputy commissioner to intervene.

A few years ago, then Mayor Ayubkhan had launched a special drive against all illegal hoardings and got removed big hoardings and poll advertisements that had dotted all major roads and footpaths in the city. Since then no mayor made attempts to carry on this drive fearing backlash. With no action from the authorities concerned, it became easy for a few companies and individuals to use vacant places in and around the important circles to put up flex and hoardings without paying single paisa to the MCC.

There are advertising companies which buys the space by paying the prescribed fees to the corporation and renew licence every year.

Political jamboree

There will be a surge of flex and hoardings especially when political rallies are held in the city. The party workers put up publicity materials of their favourite political bosses as well as theirs presuming that it would attract attention of their mentors.

 In the process, every circle is surrounded by flex and hoardings and distracts attention of drivers. Every electric pole is adorned with the big size flex near the venue of rallies. Now flex has replaced the banners. Compared to banners, the flex is attractive and can be prepared within a few hours unlike the cloth banners. This has come has handy for party workers to put up flex to impress their party bosses.

According to MCC sources, the corporation is losing heavily due to illegal hoardings. Many individuals flout rules and put up hoardings wherever they want without the fear of law.
Time has come for the civic body to mend those individuals and to send a clear message that nobody is above law.

However, the drive should not lose its steam mid-way and be continued come what may. Then only it was possible to put brakes on illegal hoardings.

The corporation has no powers to take action on hoarding that are put up inside private property, but can go ahead with booking cases if they are found on public property.

No ad zone

In fact, the MCC has not demarcated ‘ad zone’ and ‘no ad zone’ in the city till date. This is being taken advantage by some people. Need of the hour was to think in this direction before launching any drive in this regard or else the beauty of the city is marred because of flex and hoardings. After many years, the district magistrate has given full powers to the commissioner of MCC to take on all illegal hoardings in the city. This opportunity should not be lost. Any little lenience may permanently affect the beauty of the heritage city, the sources pointed out.

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