Illegal flexes rule everywhere

Illegal flexes rule everywhere

Flex are seen at Austin town in Bengaluru. Photo by S K Dinesh

After a respite during the elections as the code of conduct had kicked in, flex boards have returned with a vengeance, displaying faces of political leaders and their supporters in all their glory.

The boards dot strategic locations across the city. Many congratulate politicians on their election victory and continue to remain a full month after results were announced. Some boards feature politicians’ pictures with Ramzan greetings.

On narrow lanes, such as KKS Road in Srirampuram, flex displays add to traffic woes.

The stretch connecting the railway station road to Okalipuram has turned into a nightmare for motorists. “Not just the political leaders, there are private flex boards announcing people’s birthdays and deaths. No one dares to ask whether they got permission to instal these boards when the road is already so narrow,” a resident complains.

He did not wish to be named as he fears the hooligans in the area will cause him harm.

“There are laws and a civic body, but I have lost count of the number of times I complained. Nothing happens. Even if a board is blocking the signal, the authorities turn a blind eye,” says Zunera, an Okalipuram resident.

The boards are hazardous in many ways. “A biker kept looking at a flex board and almost lost his balance. A board snapped and fell on a pedestrian. These eyesores could end up claiming lives,” she says.

Odette Katrak, city eco-activist and co-founder of Beautiful Bengaluru, agrees.

“Apart from the fact that plastic is banned, these flexes are a traffic hazard, and could crash when the winds are strong.”

Politicians whose photographs are displayed have the moral responsibility to stop their followers from putting up these boards. They must be fined for failing to keep their followers in check, she suggests.