After Mumbai’s Billboard Tragedy, Civic Body Wants Large Hoardings Out


Irregularly shaped hoardings, especially those larger than 40×40 feet, will be removed immediately from the boundary of the railway administration, the Mumbai civic body said days after a 250-tonne hoarding fell in Ghatkopar, killing 14 people and injuring around 75. The rescue work at the site is still in progress and several people are suspected to be buried under the hoarding.

The Brihanmumbai Corporation does not allow hoardings larger than 40×40 feet in view of Mumbai’s geography. The financial capital of the country is close to the coastline, where high winds can pose a risk.  

“However, it has been observed that irregularly sized advertising boards have been installed around the roads/private constructions within the boundary of the railway administration,” read the civic body’s notice, sent today to the Central and Western Railways administration.

“In the light of this, as an additional measure to prevent accidents, the Additional Municipal Commissioner (City) has directed the immediate removal of all advertising boards larger than 40×40 feet within the boundary of the railway administration,” the notice added.

In Ghatkopar, meanwhile, rescue work is continuing, as many families remain at spot in search of their loved ones.

The hoarding had collapsed during a spell of bad weather on Monday, and with a petrol pump buried under it, the rescue work has been moving slowly. Sources said since the accident, petrol has been leaking from some of the vehicles.

Given the size and weight of the hoarding, rescue workers fear they may not be able to reach the trapped people in time. Even though only upto 40×40 feet hoardings are allowed by the civic body, this one was 120×120 feet and weighed 250 tonnes.

Questions are being raised over who is responsible for the accident – the civic body, the railways or or Bhavesh Bhinde, owner of the Igo Media Company, which put up the hoarding, ignoring all rules.

Igo Media has erected four illegal hoardings on GRP land in Ghatkopar. Now, while the BMC is busy removing the remaining three hoardings, the Mumbai Police is searching for Bhavesh Bhinde. A case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder has been registered against him.

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