Visual pollution caused by political hoardings
The political establishment in Mumbai was feeling in a mood to pull down illegal hoardings (billboards) particularly of the political kind as they are all illegal. The municipal corporation of Mumbai moved a proposal to ensure that political hoardings come up only on “on space earmarked for commercial advertisements.” In fact there was a drive recently to pull down these illegal hoardings. Some 20,000 hoardings have been pulled down.
The pictures I have published below are to showcase a city made ugly by the haphazard growth of these hoardings. Advertisement billboards are bad enough by themselves, but the political hoardings are worse as they are put up anywhere and everywhere and one on top of another and in spaces not meant for hoardings. Most of them are put up for trivial and laughable reasons – to felicitate political leaders on their birthdays (!), congratulate them on some minor achievement, welcome them to the city and so on. The intention of the photographs below is not to show the ineffectiveness of the drive against the political billboards as some of them have gone now, although many remain, particularly in the suburbs of Mumbai. The drive leaves much to be desired no doubt, but it’s a start. I can only hope that it’s not a mere flash in the pan and not restricted to elite areas of the city.
Some of the photos below were taken in the suburbs of Mumbai, some in central Mumbai, some in Thane and a couple in South Mumbai.
How can one expect people to follow the rules and not speak on the phone and drive when the government itself breaks the law?
And it’s not just the hoardings which make a city ugly, it’s also the way the shop-keepers put up signs. There should be some rule as to the size and placement of the signs.