Mangaluru, Mar 23, 2018: After directing the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) to remove the unauthorised banners, buntings and cut-outs that had come up in the city during the recent visit of BJP president Amit Shah, Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil has now directed the civic body to remove the buntings, cut-outs and banners installed for the visit of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
DK DC Senthil had, on March 5, issued a show-cause notice to MCC Commissioner Mohammed Nazir asking him why disciplinary action should not be taken for his alleged failure in getting unauthorised banners, buntings and cut-outs removed. In his notice, Mr. Senthil had said that such installations have caused problems to pedestrians and vehicle drivers, and there were greater chances of accidents as they distract drivers.
This show-cause notice led to MCC personnel removing some buntings and banners. At some places, they faced the wrath of BJP activists. After removing the banners, the MCC booked cases against BJP activists and others for violations under the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1981.
DK DC Senthil told media that he has asked the MCC to take action against Congress activists as well. “I have asked for the details of the cases that have been booked,” he said, and added that law enforcement would be the same for all. He said there was a need for civic bodies to earmark spaces in the city where bunting and banners could be installed. At present, the MCC has not identified such spaces, he said.
Police face brunt : The police had to face the brunt of BJP activists when Congress activists installed banners and buntings on the national highways and arterial roads in the city for Gandhi’s visit. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Hanumantharaya said similar to the BJP workers, Congress party activists too were told not to put up buntings and banners within 70 metres of the median on either side of the road. “Both have violated the law, and the civic body has to take action,” he said.
While admitting to violation of norms in the installation of banners and buntings, Mayor Bhaskar Moily said this was usual during visits of leaders of political parties. Asked when these banners would be removed, he said: “The banners and buntings will be removed when the model code of conduct [for the ensuing Assembly elections] come into effect.”