Bengaluru: Posters continue to mar beauty of public spaces | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Joint efforts by citizen volunteers, NGOs and BBMP to keep public spaces spick and span are being undermined by miscreants who continue to stick bills on walls and structures.
Under the provisions of Open Faces (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act 1981, no posters must be pasted or hung on any public property. Besides movie posters, even those announcing birthdays/weddings and mourning the dead are put up in public spaces in violation of the law.
Solid waste management commissioner Randeep D said it’s hard to stop violators as illegal and rampant sticking of posters could occur on any available surface and installing CCTV cameras everywhere is not feasible.
“It can be stopped only with increased local vigilance, reporting by citizen volunteers and local officials, filing police complaints, CCTV monitoring wherever possible and exemplary punishment/penalty as and when a violator is caught,” the senior official said.
Randeep added, “The SWM wing has been making efforts to ensure walls are kept visually clean to discourage defacement. Wherever pillars have been painted, we haven’t noticed violations. Karnataka Open Spaces (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act should also be used to punish the offenders.”
On the other hand, several citizens and volunteer groups have made sure their respective areas are free of these posters. However, it becomes difficult to monitor main roads and highways.
Odette Katrak, co-founder of Beautiful Bengaluru, said, “Situations like these happen when residents disregard the fact that they have a responsibility towards cleaner public spaces. Residents must ensure not to litter, spit, urinate, dump waste or stick bills. These bills appear in different forms, be it fliers, sales notices or birthday posters. Lack of visual cleanliness in our city comes from a combination of all these. Sticking or hanging bills, whether on flyover pillars, walls, trees or any public place, is tantamount to defacing public property.”
“Ironically, many party workers feel they score points by pasting pictures of their political leaders at every opportunity. But they don’t realise those same leaders lose points for this very reason, and the city too loses out in overall Swachh rankings,” Odette added.
The Ugly Indian, a non-profit, has been working towards this for a few years now. A volunteer said, “When the pillars of a flyover are painted and maintained, no one dares stick posters on it. People will hesitate dirtying a place that looks good, which is why more citizens should step in and volunteer for such initiatives.” He added, “BBMP has the power to pull out all such posters.”

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Sagar Biswas

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