Use of cloth and paper may instead be considered for banners or posters for the population that does not have access to the internet in Gurugram city.
Gurugram is struggling to manage 25 lakh tons of its legacy waste and toxic leachate which is multiplying every year. Therefore, it is essential that the city takes urgent measures to eliminate the use of environmentally hazardous materials like flex, PVC for any kind of publicity and advertisement activities.
As a build-up to the upcoming state elections, political candidates have already started dotting Gurugram 's skyline with flex PVC hoardings. In some coming weeks, the Election Commission will announce the schedule for the State Assembly polls and after that percentage of such advertisements is likely to rise during the campaign period.
These are inflammable and non-degradable materials and have no recyclable value. In fact, their disposal in any form adds to serious environmental pollution as these materials are highly toxic in nature.
Gurugram is already rated as the highest polluted city globally and the situation further aggravated by improper waste collection and management practices. It is certainly unwise, particularly at this state, to continuously allow usage of such toxic materials.
During campaigns, flex and PVC materials for banners and posters are very commonly used to reach out to the public. The banners and boards are most often found hanging or pasted on public spaces like flyovers, metro pillars, foot-over-bridges, bus stands, electric poles e.t.c, spoiling the aesthetics of the city.
It has been repeatedly witnessed that as soon as the poll or such other public event is over, every street, open drains, empty plots are found littered with such harmful waste. Most of the times, this type of waste is collected and burnt. In some other cases, these banners or hoardings end up at a dump yard from where they are transferred to landfills for where they release toxic chemicals into the earth, causing severe air, land and water pollution.
At the time when there are other more user-friendly and viable options like WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, along with other conventional media like television, radio, digital display boards etc are available, it seems that advertisements or posters on flex and PVC are no longer necessary.
The use of cloth and paper may instead be considered for banners or posters for the population that does not have access to smartphones or other social media tools.
A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on 11th March 2019 directed the political parties not to use polyvinyl chloride flex, hoarding and banners for election campaign and asked them to strictly follow the guidelines of the Election Commission of India. Prior to General Election 2019, CK Mishra, Secretary MOEFC, GOI had reiterated through a letter to the Election Commission to issue a letter to all political parties to take adequate measures not to use single-use plastic as campaign materials as a matter of priority on cleanliness and healthy living conditions.
ECI had accordingly directed to all political parties to use eco-friendly campaign material during the election.
Similarly, we would like to appeal to all political parties to not use such inflammable and toxic materials as flex and pvc and single-use plastic bags.
With this measure, the city would have at least saved itself from such highly harmful material being burnt and landfilled, contributing positively towards clean and healthy air for all its citizens.
We hope the political parties contesting election will show concern and prioritise public health and clean environment as an important priority in their campaign and will play an active role in minimizing waste during the election period and be a role model for common citizens from whom they are seeking a mandate.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are his own and CitySpidey does not endorse them in anyway.