Mangaluru, Oct 05, 2016: It is an act that district administration and the urban local bodies promptly put in cold storage post elections. A clear example of this is a string of flex banners dotting the city in the run up to Mangaluru Dasara festivities and also hailing the roles of political leaders for a move by the union government for including this coastal city under the smart city project.
The act in question is the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement), Act, 1981.
Under scanner for not adhering to provisions of the act was Mayor Harinath M. With numbers of such banners on the rise across the city, he was at a loss to explain civic body’s inaction to reign in those putting it up. Justifying the same since it was Navaratri festival and a lot many wished the event well, the Mayor said the civic body will initiate action against all those putting up such banners once the festivities end. "The action will start from October 12," he said.
Indulging in a bit of nonchalance on grounds that all stakeholders - political parties included, violated the law, the Mayor did admit that the primary responsibility rested with the civic body in addressing the issue. The issue of removing religious banners can be sensitive one and especially when it pertains to Navaratri festival that is also dubbed Mangaluru Dasara, he said adding that the civic body will bring them down once the festivities are done and dusted with.
DK DC Dr. K G Jagadeesha, asserted that it is the duty of all urban local bodies to implement provisions of the above mentioned act. "I will direct the commissioner, MCC to take action against these flex banners," Jagadeesha said. Incidentally, the district administration and the ULBs concerned move with a sense of alacrity in removing such banners during general and state elections following directions given by the Election Commission of India.