Polls over, AAP govt back to installing flex boards to highlight achievements : The Tribune India

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Polls over, AAP govt back to installing flex boards to highlight achievements

Polls over, AAP govt back to installing flex boards to highlight achievements

A display board informs about free units of power for consumers in Amritsar. Photo: Vishal Kumar



Tribune News Service

Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, June 24

After a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, the AAP-run state government has once again accelerated installation of flex boards on roadsides to publicise its policies, achievements and social welfare schemes in and around the city.

Once again the government is using display boards to advertise its achievements which mar the city’s landscape. Besides it gives an impression that the AAP-led government’s advertisement budgetary allocation has no limits. It’s blatant wastage of taxpayers’ money and burden on state treasury. Gautam, Rani Ka Bagh resident

The development comes after Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann held a series of meetings with ministers, MLAs, halqa in-charges and senior party officials from each district.

The motive of meetings was to find reasons leading to the party’s debacle in the polls after it had stormed to power in the state with a thumping majority by winning the Assembly elections.

All display boards have one thing in common — a big-size photograph of an immaculately dressed and beaming CM Bhagwant Mann. People wonder if it was the outcome of a series of meetings.

The top brass of the party and the government feel that they failed to properly educate the masses about government’s policies, social welfare schemes and achievements. They think that their priorities were misplaced ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. So, the party had installed umpteen display boards in the city.

These flex boards of different sizes with a majority being 10 feet x 5 feet are installed on almost all popular roads of the city, including Mall Road, Court Road, GT Road, besides peripheral roads connecting to the rural areas.

A display of this size costs Rs 1,500 per piece in retail and placing the order in bulk brings the cost down to Rs 1,200.

For instance, a display board installed on on Court Road informs about 300 free units of power supplied to consumers .

All vantage positions on city roads, including the Rani Ka Bagh locality, near Khalsa College, Guru Nanak Dev University, Bhandari railway overbridge, New Amritsar, Court Road, Mall Road and several other stretches are teeming with large size hoardings. Many display boards announce the achievements of the AAP government in arresting drug peddlers, regularising jobs of contractual staff in government departments and offering new employment opportunities to youths.

Gautam, a resident of Rani Ka Bagh locality, said once again the government had taken the help of display boards to advertise its working and achievements which ultimately mar the landscape of the city. Besides it gives an impression that the AAP-led Punjab Government’s advertisement budgetary allocation had no limits, he said. It was blatant wastage of taxpayers’ money and a burden on state treasury which was facing a financial crunch, he said. He suggested that the government should utilise resources for public welfare and shun useless advertisements at the cost of the state exchequer.

When contacted, Manish Aggarwal, president of the AAP (Urban unit), said the publicity campaign was run by party functionaries from the Chandigarh office and at the local level, they were not aware of its affairs.

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