While the 11th national election has just been done and dusted, it has left its mark on the capital -- as it has on the rest of the country -- through thousands of posters and banners strewn across thoroughfares and alleyways alike.
While these promotional materials added an air of festivity to pre-electoral proceedings, they run the risk of being an eyesore and a hazard if not removed and disposed of quickly, according to citizens.
“Some posters are torn out now, and ropes are indiscriminately hanging in the alleys. These sometime tangle with rickshaws and might cause accidents. So it is necessary to bring those down as early as possible,” said Sazia Afrin, a resident of Khilgaon area.
Md Marsud, a businessman in Badda, said, “Some of the tattered posters are already drifting onto the roads. These need to be disposed of properly before they spread all over the place, making the streets dirty.”
During the campaign, almost all political parties and candidates used plastic posters so that those do not get damaged in rain or mist. For environmental activists, the use of plastic has been a big cause for concern, because of its adverse effects on the environment.
Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) General Secretary Dr Abdul Matin said, “The use of plastic is illegal, and its use in election campaign posters is unfortunate.”
He said plastic posters need to be disposed of as early as possible, or those might end up in the drains and cause water-logging on city streets. Besides, the disposal of plastic requires special management, as those do not biodegrade.
When contacted, Air Commodore Zahid Hossain, chief of waste management of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), said “We have already started removing the posters and banners. We will do the same for the plastic coverings of the posters. We want to keep the city clean,” he said.
On the other hand, Dhaka North City Corporation's (DNCC) chief waste management officer Commodore MA Razzak said that they haven't yet received any directive regarding removal of posters and banners of the city yet.
Local units of political parties also say they will help remove their posters in some areas.
“The election has just ended, and now as per directive of our ward commissioner, we will take down the posters, banners and other materials from tomorrow (today) and keep them in a designated place. Then the city corporation personnel can take them away,” Deen Mohammad, president of Awami League's unit-1 of ward-19 under DNCC told The Daily Star.