Current Affairs

CCP gets complaints of posters nailed on trees

While hoardings placed at arterial junctions in the capital invite the wrath of sensitive citizens, smaller boards nailed to trees lining thoroughfares rarely do.
Nevertheless, taking note of a few complaints from nature lovers in this regard, officials of the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) rid several trees of their encumbrances just recently.
A total of 15 boards affixed on trees along the Dayanand Bandodkar (D B) Marg and near the Santa Monica jetty in the capital were brought down by CCP authorities. “The boards were either made of ordinary wood or plastic, mostly 15 x 30 cm in dimension,” an official in the corporation said.

While a few were fixed as signboards to commercial establishments, others sought to convey some message, religious or otherwise. Interestingly, a candidate contesting the CCP panel election had also fixed her banner to a tree.
Nevertheless, despite the city corporation pulling down a number of posters from trees in the city, a few more boards seem to have reappeared on trees lining the D B Marg.
“A tree has life, but those who nail advertisements and posters to it just regard it as a piece of wood,” Patricia Pinto, general secretary of People’s Movement for Civic Action (PMCA) said.
Incidentally, the PMCA had also sounded CCP authorities about the misuse of several trees in the capital for the display of publicity material. “Allowing one person to affix a board on a tree will invariably lead several others to display their own,” Pinto reasoned.
“Each tree on the city’s business district (18{+t}{+h} June road) from the Goa College of Pharmacy right up to the Gujarat lodge has at least one board,” a citizen alleged.
It may be noted that businessmen and other individual fixing boards on trees neither seek permission from the concerned authorities nor contribute to the government for use of public property. “I don’t think they (advertisers) pay anything to the government. But even if they do, nailing advertisements or other publicity material on trees should not be allowed,” Pinto said.
The PMCA now wants the CCP to slap fines on such offenders. “Whoever nails boards to trees should be hauled up under the Goa Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1988 as it is tantamount to that,” Pinto said.
K G Hiremath, head of a city college’s botany department said, “If boards and advertisements have to be displayed on trees, they should be hung by a string from the branches,” he suggested.
Throwing light on how drilling nails into the trunk of a tree can harm it, horticulturist Daniel D’Souza explained that the trunk, which is a conduit to transport food to the rest of the tree, can, like any other living being, acquire an infection if misused. “Removing nails drilled into trees around the city may actually increase the latter’s life span,” he said.
Recalling that around six years back, the Bombay high court at Goa had issued directives to the CCP in connection with a writ petition alleging cruel use of trees to fix neon signs, D’Souza said that frequent drives to shed trees of boards would gradually sensitize people about the importance of green cover.

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