HYDERABAD: The over-enthusiastic Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) officials have once again erected over 200 flexies and hoardings at DRC centre, polling stations and polling locations despite plastic ban being imposed in the city.
Ironically, right from the top-notch official to those in the deputy commissioner level, everyone is passing the buck. Over 200 vinyl and flexies have been erected at 30 Distribution, Reception and Counting (DRC) centres in the city limits and corporation authorities are planning to erect in 9101 polling stations on Tuesday.
As an environmental concern, GHMC has been promoting plastic ban and eco-friendly awareness programs through flexis, vinyl hoardings and other non-ecofriendly means. The civic body has gone about their campaigns using hazardous plastic. Though they have the option to use cloth banners, cardboard for a day or two, officials have been resorting to means that will certainly add to the pollution levels. High-ranking officials said that instructions were issued to the deputy commissioners at the circle levels and this mischief might have been done by them.
Currently, out of 7,500 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste generated in the city, 450-500 MT is plastic waste. The corporation has even made an action plan for a complete ban by 2022. However, on the steps to spread awareness pertaining to plastic ban, they have been using vinyl and fexies. This apart, single-use plastic water bottles can be found in all circles, zonal and headquarters right from Mayor's chamber, to offices of commissioner and deputy commissioner.
Flexies can be seen in all voter awareness campaigns, monsoon action team vehicles, instant repair team vehicles and the corporation has promoted through huge amounts of plastic banners.
Despite Municipal Administration and Urban Development principal secretary’s instructions to strictly implement Public Properties Defacement Act, the GHMC, which was supposed to enforce it, has violated it and promoted its own programmes by erecting hoardings and flexies.
Arvind Kumar during January 2019 after examining hoardings, flexies, posters and banners in the city had asked the civic body to remove them immediately. He directed officials to ensure that unauthorised flexies conveying birthday greetings, political banners, pamphlets/posters of educational institutions such as colleges and coaching centres in residential areas, on streetlight poles and at junctions are not permitted. However, his instructions have fallen on deaf ears and the material has been used by all political parties in their poll campaigns, by GHMC for raising voter awareness programmes and now in DRC centres and polling stations.
Ignoring the governments instructions, the civic body has turned a blind eye to hoardings, flexies and banners at public places, including roads, streetlight poles, flyovers, bus shelters and government offices. It also warned that zonal commissioners would levy penalty on institutions and persons pasting advertising material on walls of bus shelters, central divider blocks, walls of flyovers and Metro stations. Likewise responsibility should be fixed on sanitary field assistants in their respective jurisdiction. What is even more tragic is that on numerous occasions, the civic body has violated its own plastic ban. Despite repeated attempts, senior GHMC officials were not unavailable for comment