Newly elected Mayor Vijayalakshmi R. Gadwal received an unusual welcome from the GHMC on Saturday, when one among her followers was fined a hefty sum for flouting rules and defacing the city’s skyscape.
The person named Atish Agarwal who described himself as a senior leader from TRS, has been reportedly penalised to the extent of ₹5 lakh, for displaying flexi banners and hoardings at multiple locations in the city congratulating the Mayor. The violation was brought to the notice of the Central Enforcement Cell under the Enforcement, Vigilance & Disaster Management wing of the GHMC, by several citizens on the social media platform Twitter.
“Can you please convey Mr. Atish Agarwal “special thanks” on behalf of the first citizen for dirtying the city! [sic],” posted one Robin Zaccheus, who uploaded the pictures of flexi banners in Himayatnagar tagging the Director, EVDM, Central Enforcement Cell, Minister K.T.Rama Rao, and other officials.
Hoardings were also placed at locations such as Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills, Khairatabad, Kacheguda, Secunderabad, and others. After the issue gained focus, they were seen being removed.
Responding to the tweets, the EVDM officials have issued a series of notices to Mr. Agarwal, imposing penalties ranging from ₹15,000 up to ₹2 lakh for various violations. The offences included erection of unauthorised advertisement element above 15 feet in height from ground level and unauthorised erection of banners and cutouts.
The penalties have been imposed under the Sections 420 and 421 of GHMC Act, pertaining to regulation of sky signs, and regulation and control of advertisements. The Mayor-elect has later tweeted about the imposition of penalties, and cautioned her followers.
“Issued fines to my followers who set up flexes and hoardings in GHMC premises. This is to reiterate the fact that everyone is equal before law. We must adhere to the rules and regulations of the city,” she posted from her official Twitter account.