Time to deal with an eyesore

Last Updated 19 September 2013, 15:59 IST

Once called the ‘Garden City’, Bangalore now has trees plastered with ugly posters and advertisements along its roads. 

Trees in areas like Manyata Techpark, Bagmane Techpark, in the surroundings
of Garden City College and many other institutions, have been disfigured by the advertisements nailed on to them.

   Bangaloreans say that the City already has pressing issues like increasing garbage and rising pollution and it is important to take proper care of trees.

   “The natural look of the trees is spoilt by these ugly posters. The bark of the trees is sometimes totally hidden,” points out Shilpa Shenoy, an engineering student from JP Nagar.
She adds that such trees can be seen in Jayanagar too. “Actions speak louder than words. Schools and colleges should encourage awareness drives and clear the posters in their areas to pass on the message,” she adds.

Ask the authorities about it and they say that they are still to look into this issue. Lakshmi Narayana, BBMP commissioner, says that the body has been closely monitoring posters stuck
on walls and other spaces, but is yet to structure rules about posters, pamphlets
or advertisements stuck on trees.

   “We have noticed that there are lots of posters on walls in areas like KR Circle  and we have been conducting drives,” he says.

He informs that disfiguring public places is punishable with a fine of Rs 1,000, according to the Prevention of Disfigurement Act.

   Similar measures will be taken for defacing of trees by sticking posters or advertisements on them.

   “Identifying the culprits won’t be a hard task as such free spaces of publicity are used by small parties to advertise paying guest accommodation etc,” he adds.

Vikas Jain, a businessman who stays in Wilson Garden, says, “In my area, not one tree has been spared. If the rain or winds pull off one advertisement, another one is there on that space the next morning. People need to be more sensitive and mediums like the radio need to be used to spread the message,” he suggests.

Apart from the environmental factor, the defacing of trees by posters and advertisements could divert people’s attention and lead to accidents.

“The bright colours and the big letters on these advertisements invite attention,” says Darshan, a resident of Rajajinagar.

   Darshan adds that like in most western countries, such offences should be slapped with a huge fine or imprisonment.

People need to be aware about this situation and welfare or residential associations need to keep a strict watch, opines Suresh Heblikar, an environmentalist.

   He says that catching the perpetrators is a tough task since most of these
advertisements are stuck in the night.

   “The BBMP should identify sensitive areas and inform the police so that they can keep a watch on these miscreants, during their night patrol,” he voices.

Areas like Malleswaram, Basavanagudi and Gandhi Bazaar have a lot of these
advertisements, says Suresh. He also points out that the posters as such might not harm the trees, but are an eyesore nonetheless.

   “The little tin advertisements that are nailed on the bark of the trees break the bark and eventually the branch, contributing to the degeneration of the tree,” he wraps up.

(Published 19 September 2013, 15:59 IST)

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