Mangaluru, Mar 25, 2017: Six months after Mangaluru found a berth in the Smart Cities Mission, a steep increase in banned flex, plastic buntings and banners in the city recently.
State government, through a notification on March 11 last year, banned them among other plastic products. Flex hoardings of political leaders, including that of Mayor Kavita Sanil and Deputy Mayor Rajaneesh, members of temple management committees, Yakshagana programmes, religious events in the central business district area, are mocking the “smartness” of the city, say some civil society members.
Cleanliness or Swachh Bharat does not mean only stopping open defecation and roadside dumping of garbage and keep the roads clean. Posters of many types are a latest addition to the defacement of public places in the city. They have come up everywhere. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor themselves were not keen to get flex hoardings, congratulating them, removed.
Activists said that the lethargy of the city corporation has resulted in the mushrooming of such flex hoardings and banners in the city. When the hoardings and banners speak themselves as to is responsible the corporation could easily fine them. But there is no will. As there is no fear of fine or any legal action people have continued to deface public places. The MCC, corporation could identify the persons putting up such hoardings. There was also a plastic mafia behind it, he alleged.
“The corporation often evicts street vendors but why not banned flexes,” he questioned. The corporation should keep the drive continuous against banned flexes. On the other hand though the government has also banned plastic bags, plastic plates, plastic cups, plastic spoons, cling film and plastic sheets for spreading on dinning table, irrespective of thickness they were widely being used in the city without the fear of legal action.
Action from April 1 : The MCC, Mangaluru City Corporation will remove all kinds of banned flex hoardings and banners in the city from April 1, according to Mayor Kavita Sanil. However there will be exemption to such materials related to religious events as this is the season of religious events, she said. The Mayor was evasive on why the corporation should wait till April 1 to remove them.