The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has decided to remove all Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) flags that have been installed without permission on electric poles at the India Gate circle. The NDMC, under whose jurisdiction the area falls, said no political party and private entity can put up flags, hoardings or flex in the Lutyens’ Zone.
The party flags were seen installed on several electric poles located on the India Gate circle and roads that branch outwards. They were installed on the flag holders, which were an embedded feature of the poles for putting up national flags during government functions such as Independence Day and Republic Day.
“NDMC has not given any permission to install these political flags. As per rules, NDMC only allows and gives permission to government departments to install national flags and put up hoardings related to government functions. Political parties and private entities are not allowed to put any kind of ads, hoardings and flex in roundabouts and roadsides areas in the New Delhi area,” said an NDMC official.
When contacted, the NDMC vice-chairperson Satish Upadhyay, who was former president of the Delhi BJP, said: “NDMC does not give permission to put up hoardings to any political party. And it is also not only BJP, whenever any political party — be it BJP, AAP or Congress — conducts a political programme, they put their party hoardings for publicity. Recently, Sharad Pawar had some programme and they installed big hoardings, flex and flags near the Rail Bhawan stretch, so it is a general practice. But NDMC takes cognizance and removes all such illegally installed hoardings on an immediate basis.”
Officials said even government departments are not allowed to put up hoardings or flex boards. “They are allowed to only put up hoardings on the roadside after getting permission and
no-objection certificate (NOC) from the local Delhi/traffic police by following all terms and conditions. Even permission to install national flags on roundabouts was given as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration during Independence Day week.”
Officials said that NDMC has not received any official complaint about the BJP flags but the issue has come to their notice. “We have informed the civil engineers/teams of the particular locations to get the flags removed immediately,” said an official.
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“The flags will be removed by tomorrow morning as the traffic movement will be disrupted if we remove it in the night time,” said the official.
“Usually our teams are there on the ground during the day but parties put up their flags or hoardings during the night. NDMC does file a complaint if any of its property is vandalised but in such minor cases, we take action and immediately remove the hoardings that are put up illegally.” These smart poles with flag holders were installed about 3-4 years ago as part of NDMC’s smart city project, officials said.
Delhi BJP general secretary Kuljeet Chahal said, “I will have to check which programme the flags were placed for.”
Delhi BJP Chief Adesh Gupta, however, said that the party had not placed the flags officially. “I will have to ask if any karyakarta put them up,” he said.