Bengaluru: Austin Town BDA junction has been marred by political hoardings to the extent that the general public have started complaining of feeling ‘suffocated’ when they are in the area. “Anywhere you turn, you are forced to look at these hoardings with the huge faces and full-size figures of politicians, rising to a height of 2 to 3-storey buildings, destroying the serenity of the area,” said Sandhya R., a local resident.
These hoardings depict local leaders belonging to parties such as Congress, BJP, JD(S) etc. They thought it would be expedient to gain publicity from these hoardings through the large number of people who would gather for processions from the days of Dussera, Muharram, Diwali until Rajyotsava. “These giant hoardings had been put up even 10 days before Dussera, during the last week of September. They are even higher than the two to three-storey buildings in the area and look like huge castles around the junction. The flex banners will continue to remain at least a week after Rajyotsava,” said Hayad, an auto driver and a resident of the area. He asks, “How can the civic authorities give permission for so many banners at a single junction?”
These extra-large hoardings are around thirty in number and depict the faces and full-size figures of politicians, ranging from the prime minister to the local party president and secretary and office bearers. Shantinagar constituency MLA NA Haris, local politician from Varthur Sridhar Reddy, Ex-Deputy Mayor Vasudev Murthy, local corporator Shivakumar are the ones whose faces and figures are to be seen everywhere. “The others whose pictures were along with the politicians were none other than their henchmen in the garb of office bearers,” said Rajath S, a resident of Neelasandra.
“A few of the flex banners are even obstructing the traffic at the junction. The roads have been dug to install wooden beams and metal frames to support these tall banners,” said Ravikiran, a resident of Neelasandra. The Ashok Nagar Traffic Police have issued notices to all those who have erected the flex banners as they have dug up the road, obstructing traffic movement at the junction. “Footpaths are being used by tender coconut sellers, flower sellers and other street hawkers, leaving no choice for the pedestrians other than to walk on the narrow road along with the moving vehicles,” Ravi Kiran added.
Of late, after all these flex banners have appeared at the junction, there have been several groups of rough elements claiming that they belong to some party or the other, loitering in the area indulging in eve-teasing and trouble-making. “Youths even less than 14 years old are forming groups causing nuisance to people around, especially women and children in the area. To add to the risk, there are two high schools at a stone’s throw away from the junction....