Ghatkopar Billboard Tragedy: BMC Had Flagged Issue Of Gigantic Hoardings On Railways Land In March

Ghatkopar Billboard Tragedy: BMC Had Flagged Issue Of Gigantic Hoardings On Railways Land In March

The civic body had filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court pointing out the threats to the lives of citizens posed by such huge hoardings, merey two months before the Ghatkopar hoarding collapsed claiming 16 lives and injuring over 70 persons.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Saturday, May 18, 2024, 12:11 AM IST
article-image
Mumbai Hoarding Collapse That Killed 16 | X

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)  had, in March, flagged the issue of gigantic sized hoardings put up on land belonging to the Railways which could “endanger the lives of public and/or damage public property” within the municipal limits. 

The civic body  had filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court pointing out the threats to the lives of citizens posed by such huge hoardings, merey two months before the Ghatkopar hoarding collapsed claiming 16 lives and injuring over 70 persons.

The issue was first brought up before the Bombay High Court in 2017 wherein the Railways and others sought that the court declare that BMC’s permission is not needed when hoardings are put up on land belonging to the Railways. A bench of Justices BR Gavai (now a SC judge) and Sandeep Shinde (now retired) ruled in the favour of the Railways and said that relevant sections of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act would not be applicable to the hoardings erected by the Railways. 

The corporation took the issue before the apex court. In March, the BMC filed an additional affidavit pointing out that the railways authorities were granting permission to put up “large-sized hoardings near railway tracks (adjacent to municipal roads) measuring 120ft X 120ft, 80ft X 80ft without considering the safety of the public”.  

The affidavit said that the BMC has been formulating guidelines as per directions of the High Court and Government of Maharashtra “keeping in mind pedestrian and public safety and movement of traffic”.

“For these reasons, the Corporation is only granting permissions for erection of hoardings of maximum size 40ft. X40ft. and not beyond that,” the affidavit by Superintendent of Licence Anil Kate stated. 

It cited an example of a hoarding erected near the Kala Nagar in Bandra, which also is of “gigantic size of 120ft X 122ft, along with other hoardings that create an unaesthetic view of the place”.  Also, these “jumble of hoardings of different sizes distract the motorists” on the abutting road, the civic body had said. 

The BMC had categorically stated that owing to the height of the hoardings erected on supportive pillars, and considering the other aspects that relate to the continuing structural integrity of hoardings, “in the event of any mishap like if these hoardings were to fall on to the public street/road/area, it would endanger the lives of public and/or damage public property”. 

Hence, it insisted on an NOC from the BMC, which as a statutory authority, could “periodically inspect” and satisfy itself of the structural strength and integrity of such hoardings, “as it is not only its duty to protect its citizens but also as a fait accompli would be the first to suffer any blame for such a mishap, and Railways would in turn pass on the responsibility to the Corporation for compensation and losses”.  

The matter is likely to come up for further hearing on September 11. 

RECENT STORIES

Mumbai Weather Update: IMD Predicts Moderate Showers Today; Rainfall To Intensify In City From...

Mumbai Weather Update: IMD Predicts Moderate Showers Today; Rainfall To Intensify In City From...

‘Postal Ballots Not Counted On Time': Surinder Mohan Arora, Independent Lok Sabha Candidate From...

‘Postal Ballots Not Counted On Time': Surinder Mohan Arora, Independent Lok Sabha Candidate From...

Pankaja Munde Breaks Down As She Visits Supporter's House Who Died After She Lost Elections From...

Pankaja Munde Breaks Down As She Visits Supporter's House Who Died After She Lost Elections From...

BPT Building Flat Fraud: Cops To Search For Documents To Prove Their Ownership

BPT Building Flat Fraud: Cops To Search For Documents To Prove Their Ownership

Maharashtra: Karjat Medical College Faces Fee Regulator’s Action

Maharashtra: Karjat Medical College Faces Fee Regulator’s Action