Action Against Hoardings: HC Asks CIDCO To Form A Reasonable Policy

Action Against Hoardings: HC Asks CIDCO To Form A Reasonable Policy

On Monday alone, CIDCO pulled down six hoardings and the action has been going on since a week.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Monday, May 27, 2024, 09:46 PM IST
article-image
Bombay High Court | PTI

The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO)  to form a “reasonable policy” for bringing down “illegal” hoardings instead of bringing down all the hoardings as a “knee jerk” reaction. 

“Unless Ghatkopar happened, no one said bring this (hoarding) down. Don't have a knee jerk reaction.  Have a reasonable policy,” a vacation bench of Justices Nitin Borkar and Somasekhar Sundaresan said.  The court suggested the planning authority could undertake an audit of all the hoardings from a safety point of view. 

On May 13, a large 120X120 feet hoarding came crashing down on a petrol pump in Ghatkopar killing 17 persons and injuring over 70 persons. 

The HC was hearing petitions by advertising agencies — Devangi Outdoor Advertising and Harmesh Dilip Tanna, proprietor of Gargee Graphics —  which were issued notices by CIDCO on May 22 to remove illegal hoardings in the Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA). 

The advocate for the petitioners pointed out that as per the earlier high court order, the permission for erecting  a hoarding was to be taken from municipal corporations or councils in city limits as from local body or gram Punchayat. He said that the agencies had taken necessary permission from the gram Punchayats of  villages of Kolkhe and Nandgaon before putting up the hoardings.

The bench then asked whether CIDCO had any jurisdiction in granting permission since the hoardings were erected outside the city limits. 

The petitioners contended that they had still sought permission from NAINA in June 2023. However, they have not received any reply to date. As per the Rules, if the authority doesn’t grant or reject permission within 60 days, then permission if deemed to be granted, the petitioners contended.

 CIDCO’s advocate  then pointed out that the hoardings were erected in 2018 and the permission was sought in 2023. A structural audit report was submitted by CIDCO which states that the hoardings were rusted and required repairs.

When Justice Somasekhar asked whether CIDCO had given permission to any of the hoardings, the planning authority’s advocate replied in negative. “So all the hoarding we see on the highway, don't have permission?” Justice Somasekhar asked. Once again, the CIDCO’s advocate replied, “No.” 

On Monday alone, CIDCO pulled down six  hoardings and the action has been going on since a Week.

The judges said that one way to address the issue was to to commission an audit, at the cost of the advertising agencies, and rectify hoardings  wherever required. 

“You (CIDCO) will go for carpet bombing and remove all boarding. But someone will protect someone,” the bench said adding, “More sensible way would be to do an audit  at their cost and look at safety in a given time frame. Where you find it is unsafe, pull them down. And Wherever possible , grant delayed permission with penalty.” 

The petitioners’ advocate pointed out that after the Ghatkopar tragedy, they themselves conducted an audit of their hoardings. The reports stated they are stable and only one extra layer of colour coating is required to strengthen it. 

When CIDCO objected to the petitioners'  audit report, the judges noted that these hoardings were present  before  the planning authority’s sight. The bench then asked CIDCO’s advocate to her instruction and kept the matter for hearing on May 30. 

RECENT STORIES

Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde Announces Formation Of Welfare Corporation Offering Insurance &...

Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde Announces Formation Of Welfare Corporation Offering Insurance &...

Mumbai Weather Update: IMD Predicts Moderate To Heavy Showers In City & MMR Areas; Rainfall To...

Mumbai Weather Update: IMD Predicts Moderate To Heavy Showers In City & MMR Areas; Rainfall To...

Mumbai-Bound IndiGo Flight Receives Bomb Threat Message; Lands Safely

Mumbai-Bound IndiGo Flight Receives Bomb Threat Message; Lands Safely

Navi Mumbai: Vashi Police Book Owner Of Ad Company For Large Sized Illegal Hoarding On Road Side Of...

Navi Mumbai: Vashi Police Book Owner Of Ad Company For Large Sized Illegal Hoarding On Road Side Of...

Navi Mumbai: Creek Pollution Due To Cleaning Of Tankers

Navi Mumbai: Creek Pollution Due To Cleaning Of Tankers