On September 12, the Indian Express ran a front page ad for the Uttar Pradesh government on its Sunday edition, that used a stock photo of Kolkata's Parama Flyover, also known as Maa flyover, to illustrate the state's development under the leadership of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Initially, social media users took to Twitter to call out the Bharatiya Janata Party-led UP government and its Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for the error. This ad also comes at a time when Adityanath and the BJP are currently gearing up for campaigns ahead of the assembly elections in the state next year.
However, after the error was called out, The Indian Express took responsibility for the mistake, and stated that the stock image of Kolkata's Maa flyover was "inadvertently included in the cover collage of the advertorial on Uttar Pradesh produced by the marketing department of the newspaper". They further stated that the image shall be removed from all digital editions of the paper. It is however unclear if the advertorial had been approved by the UP government.
The ad appeared in the first page of the Delhi edition of The Sunday Express, as confirmed by readers having access to the newspaper copy. It was titled, "Transforming Uttar Pradesh Under Yogi Adityanath", and showed two stock images - with one showing Kolkata's Maa flyover - and a towering image of Adityanath in the background.
By noon, many had taken to Twitter to highlight the error made in the ad. Some TMC leaders also chimed in, and took a dig at the BJP and Adityanath.
Many of the tweets calling out the ad mentioned that the image actually shows Kolkata's Maa flyover - a flyover which connects the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass to the 7-point Crossing, a junction of some of the most important thoroughfares in the city.
People also identified the buildings seen in the photo as the JW Marriot hotel that is situated next to the flyover on the EM Bypass
BOOM cropped the ad to show just the image of the flyover and the buildings, and ran a reverse image search on Google. The results threw up a list of similar images, shown to be that of the Parama Flyover or Parama Island Flyover - commonly called the Maa flyover.
Looking through the reverse image search results, we found the exact photo used in the UP government ad on stock photo website Alamy.
According to the website, the picture was taken on 2016. The caption read, "Parama Island flyover, popularly known as Ma or Maa flyover is a 4.5 kilometer long flyover in Kolkata".
We also did a reverse image search of the other photo in the ad, which showed an engineer surveying an oil refinery. We traced the photo to yet another stock photo on Shutterstock, with this one being digitally created by an artist named 'fotoslaz'.
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