‘Remove All Illegal Advt Banners Tied to the Trees Immediately’- National Environment Care Federation (NECF) Urges Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC). “If no action is taken by Saturday 24 June, green volunteers would not only remove such banners but also dump them in the MCC office from Monday, 26 June”, warns NECF General Secretary H Shashidhar Shetty
Mangaluru: Post the Assembly elections and after the Election Code was removed, the City is adorned with a bunch of illegal banners and hoardings, including admission banners of schools and colleges etc etc and our concerned officials in Mangaluru City Corporation(MCC), including the In-Charge Commissioner and Mayor Jayanand Anchan have turned a blind eye to the issue. Meanwhile, the National Environment Care Federation (NECF) on Wednesday urged the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) to get all the banners/advertisements displayed by tying them to trees in the city removed immediately.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, NECF general secretary H Shashidhar Shetty said, “If the civic body does not act in this regard by Saturday, the federation volunteers would not only remove such banners/advertisements but also would dump them inside the Revenue department offices of the Corporation from June 26. Display of such banner advertisements violates various laws, which carry huge penalties, but the MCC officials are least bothered. Also, the banners and advertisements tied to trees using plastic or nylon ropes slowly will kill them. Of the many tree saplings planted by NECF members a few years that have now fully grown- one Kadamba and another Magadhi tree died a slow death on Warehouse Road recently”.
“They were in a vantage location at a corner thereby becoming the target of advertisement displayers. They tied banners using plastic or nylon ropes to these trees frequently thereby causing their slow death, which we totally regret. Such acts were not limited to Mannagudda but could be seen across the city. Despite there being umpteen laws and regulations, people continue to violate the same. Officers in the civic body, who were duty-bound to prevent such violations, sit quietly thereby encouraging violation of rules and regulations”, added Shetty.
He further said, “Display of such banner advertisements violates The Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1981, The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, The Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, and other relevant rules. There were judgements and orders from the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal also. This is the final warning to the civic body, and NECF has also lodged a police complaint against MCC officials concerned for the failure of their duties. We warn the MCC that the drive against tying banners to trees would be a continuous process if MCC does not act soon”.
Shetty has raised his voice in regards to a plastic banner nailed to a tree with a call to preserve the environment. Despite the government prohibiting using nails on trees, such activities go on, he regretted and demanded that the organisation be made to remove the banner along with the nails. NECF, an environmental outfit, is effectively preventing people from putting ugly advertisements on the trees. The belief that you only need the will to do something gets reinforced by this unique initiative of Save Green. The outfit, active in the field of environment, removes posters and advertisements from trees in the city when they see them.
Not only do these posters look ugly they also make trees unhealthy. The holes which are left behind after removing the hoarding, allow insects and termites to enter. It makes the tree hollow and weak. “I feel it needs to be made public so they think twice before doing it again. Also, we need to check if it is a repeat offender for they need to be dealt with stringently. Sometimes we remove the posters ourselves or inform the offenders to come and take them off. I feel the whole thing will register in their mind more strongly. Also, in certain situations, the team feels a little vulnerable.” says Shetty.
Most of these ads belong to work-from-home followed by PG accommodations, Schools/Colleges admissions, etc. Sources reveal that when nails are inserted in a tree trunk, channels taking water to branches are damaged, which affects its growth. Not just on City streets, trails of such posters are also a common sight on highways. This is illegal both from the standpoint of advertising, causing loss of revenue to the government, and damage caused to trees. If nails are inserted deep in tree trunks, these could cause harm to trees.
The government and the concerned officials from the forest department and MCC need to seriously look into the matter and put an end to this practice, which is harming the environment.