Over 600 illegal banners and hoardings were pulled down by BMC two days after Janmashtami. These hoardings had been put up despite the Bombay High Court ban.
Caving in to pressure from Ganesh mandal committees and political parties, the civic body had taken a policy decision to allow hoardings during Ganeshotsav. The policy, however, was not extended for Janmashtami celebrations.
Last year, only 468 hoardings were removed after dahi handi celebrations, compared to the 608 this year.
Civic data shows that BMC pulled down 775 illegal hoardings, banners and posters in August. Of these, 484 or over 60 per cent were political banners, hoardings, posters and flags. Of the rest, 287 were religious and four were commercial.
Last year, most of the illegal flex boards were put up by the Shiv Sena, the ruling party in the civic body.
Additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani said, “If the number of hoardings removed has increased, it means we have been more stringent. In all these cases, we have filed FIRs against the party concerned.”
“If any hoardings are found, we request citizens to immediately notify us. We will not only take them down, but will also take action against the negligent civic officer,” said Adtani.
In March, the Bombay High Court had said it would hold the municipal commissioners as co-conspirators responsible for putting up illegal hoardings.
It had asked BMC and other civic bodies in Navi Mumbai, Thane, Mira-Bhayander and Pune to remove all illegal posters, banners, billboards and hoardings within 24 hours. The civic body had then removed over 8,000 boards in one day.