When Pune Suffered An Overdose Of Hoardings And Banners

Pune Governance
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Did you know that our chief minister visited our fair metropolis the other day?

And if you didn’t know, how much extra space is there under that rock?

Now, I have absolutely no objection to our chief minster visiting us. Not only is it his right, it also is kind of his duty. I haven’t had the chance to read it yet, but I’m pretty sure HR must have added it in the job description: as Chief Minister of the great state of Maharashtra, you’ll be expected to take the time out to visit its major cities every now and then.

And if HR was wise and experienced, a couple of footnotes would have been tagged on. When you are in Pune, do take some bakarwadi and Shrewsbury biscuits back home with you, the first one might have read. And oh, avoid the airport, the second one might have added.

But I digress.

As I said, I have no objection to his august presence in our midst. What I do object to, and right strenuously, are the number of hoardings that dotted our city heralding his arrival. You couldn’t help but notice them, they were everywhere.

Why, at one point of time rumor has it that the number of hoardings in the city were actually slightly higher than the number of potholes on our roads. But, the Puneris amongst you will be reassured to note, it didn’t take the Pune Municipal Corporation long to correct that unexpected anomaly.

These hoardings covered the entire spectrum when it came to size, originality, garishness and innovativeness. Some were small in size and tacked on to lamp posts.

Others were rather larger in size and were could be seen festooned with gay abandon on the walls of roadside dwellings. Others, organized no doubt by people who prefer to think of matters on a grand scale, were draped on to signboards on Pune’s highways. You know the ones that span the entire width of the highway, are way high up, and in green and white? Yes, those. 

Obscured completely by ABC Bhau, PQR Dada, and XYZ Saheb, all doing their utmost to look happy and proud while welcoming our Chief Minister to our fair city. 

In the interest of doing my job as your columnist, dear reader, I actually counted. My commute home involves a distance of about seven kilometers and six traffic signals. While driving, I tried to keep a tab of how many of these hoardings had been so industriously put up by the hard working leaders of our city. But by the time I reached three digits (this must have been at around the second signal), I gave up.

There simply wasn’t any point in continuing, obviously.

The next day, I was glad to note that I wasn’t the only one astonished by these hoardings. All of the newspapers carried articles about how everybody was outraged by it all. Even better, I was impressed by how proactively the chief minister responded and assured us that strict action would be taken.

Well, that’s all right then. So long as it’s strict.

In fact, I have half a mind to suggest to ABC Bhau, PQR Dada and XYZ Saheb that they should put up hoardings thanking the chief minister for being so proactive about the whole hoardings issue.

What’d be the best way to catch their attention, I wonder. Hmm.

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#All views expressed in this article are those of the author and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to the same. 

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish is a confirmed Punekar, which guarantees eternal undying love for the city, but also mandates an incurable sense of cynicism about it.

He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime
Ashish Kulkarni

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