BANGALORE: Everyone in the city must have come across flexboards, banners, buntings which are not only an eyesore but are also proving to be dangerous for thousands of commuters using the city roads. These flex boards occupy every single spot whether they are traffic signals, skywalks, electric poles, bus stops, dividers or circles at major traffic junctions.
Today being the 70th birthday of a prominent politician, similar flexes adorned every spot surrounding the Railway Station in Majestic area. It went up to the former Chief Minister’s residence on Race Course Road until the Chalukya Circle and way beyond. Since banners occupying the entire stretch wasn’t good enough, they were all over the footpaths as well. Saleem, who works in a garment shop next to the Railway Station, said, “These boards are blocking the footpaths, forcing the pedestrians to walk on the busy road. Even the road is full of government vehicles parked on one side, where does one walk?”
Commuters also had a tough time trying to avoid the flex boards. Suresh, a commuter, said, “I almost hit another vehicle, as there were a series of banners covering the Anand Rao Circle Junction, blocking the entire view of the vehicles coming from the other side. Our safety should be given priority before going in for such publicity gimmicks.”
Many vendors were forced to shift from their place of business too due to the huge cut-outs erected. Sajjad, a vendor, who sells wallets and garments next to the Railway Station, said, “Today, I found these flex boards covering the spot where I normally carry my business. Hence, I am losing out on my customers too.”
Though the political parties are required to take permission from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) before putting up posters for any event, rules are hardly followed. BBMP Chief Engineer Rangaraj said, “No permission is taken from us before putting up such hoardings or banners. Once it is put up, the political party concerned doesn’t even take up the responsibility of removing them. Its again upto the BBMP to do the dirty work.”
Banners and flexes are a common sight during festivals in almost every ward, where the local corporators put up huge posters featuring their photos and expressing their heartfelt wishes. But birthdays are truly special as far as politicians are concerned as no one can pass a road without being reminded again and again that it is ‘not just another day’.