Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Poster boys dot cityscape

Poster boys dot cityscape
Aarthi R | TNN

Bangalore: When politicians and their hangers-on begin smiling out of the walls, you know that polls are near. In fact, you can almost feel an election hanging over the city now, what with posters surreptitiously creeping up on walls.
Though strict orders have been issued against defacing of walls, and the election code of conduct is in place, poster boys and girls manage to sneak into the streets.
Worse still, residents here are confused about the validity of these posters.
Many have come from nowhere, pasted overnight, and are bound to remain there for months together.
The posters spare none — neither broad road, nor narrow street leading to a slum. A monstrous 20’x 10’ hoarding on Kenchappa Road came up two months ago.
“Where is the enforcement of rules?’’ ask locals in many areas. Though the laws are getting increasingly strict, enforcement is not sustained, they complain.
“Tackling the poster menace during elections is always a challenge,’’ admit State Election Commission officials. “We have asked the BBMP to conduct a preliminary survey. Only posters authorised by BBMP will stay,’’ they said.
“The main problem areas are the old areas of BBMP. However, on a rough estimate, there is some relief as walls are painted,” BBMP commissioner Bharat Lal Meena told The Times of India.
The BBMP survey should get rid of unauthorised posters, as all parties have been clearly informed about the rules. Enforcement will get stricter after the final election notification on February 1, he said.
Considering the wider city limits and limited staff, the Palike also plans to take help from locals in all 198 wards to strictly monitor the poster culture. “They can contribute by keeping us informed about the posters in their areas,’’ BBMP election officials said.


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