Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse: ‘Stop Blame Game,' Says BMC-Licensed Structural Engineer Ganesh Kamat

Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse: ‘Stop Blame Game,' Says BMC-Licensed Structural Engineer Ganesh Kamat

"The main reason revolves around the law of nature, the dust storm. It has got nothing to do with politicians, any party, corruption, or anything else. That’s just a blame game," says Ganesh Kamat, a BMC-licensed structural engineer.

Swarna SrikanthUpdated: Monday, May 20, 2024, 09:11 AM IST
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Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse |

Mumbai recently witnessed a dust storm that raised questions on the city’s readiness to face such an unlikely weather, especially with respect to its high rises and roadside ad displays. With the collapse of a 120 ft x 120 ft hoarding in Ghatkopar which highlighted the aspect of structural engineering and auditing, Swarna Srikanth spoke to Ganesh Kamat, a BMC-licensed structural engineer who has more than 50 years of experience in structural auditing of buildings, having worked in Mumbai and the USA. 

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What are your remarks on the Ghatkopar hoarding collapse?

The hoarding was huge, but even after collapsing from nearly 120 ft height it is intact. Structurally, the hoarding is fine. The six steel pillars and the foundation were also okay. But there was something wrong with the joint between the concrete pillar and steel pillar, probably with the anchor bolt or the anchor fastener. 

The main reason revolves around the law of nature, the dust storm. It has got nothing to do with politicians, any party, corruption, or anything else. That’s just a blame game. 

In Mumbai, we have a southwest direction of wind and structures which go beyond 40 storeys need to consider the wind flow. In big banners, there must be holes for the wind to pass through it, and reduce the wind pressure. This would lessen the chances of the hoarding’s collapse. 

Is Mumbai ready for the monsoon? 

Mumbai is not ultimately ready for the monsoon, but the trail to manage and keep it under control is on. 

Can you tell us about structural audit and its importance? 

In structural audit we go through the old constructions to study whether the structure is stable or not. If the building is stable for human habitation, there is no major problem and can be handled with basic repairs. The case where the structure is not stable, it either needs to be demolished. Most commonly these structures could have cracks which are 99.99 per cent formed due to oxidation and they can be repaired. During the audit, we look for any unusual cracks that can be a threat to the building by making it unstable. The audit is important to ensure the safety and lives of people. 

How can common people know whether their building is strong? 


Mumbai has all kinds of buildings including wooden, load bearing and the widely seen RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete) structures. As per the BMC regulation, after the structure turns 15 years old, it needs to be audited every five years, and every three years once the building gets 30 years old. 

If the building starts vibrating, that clearly indicates there is something wrong with the structure. So, it must be audited. Also, a buyer and seller can get a flat audited before making a deal, but then just one flat can’t give a clear picture of whether the full building is stable or not.  

A structural audit report can give people an overview about the condition of the building they reside in and whether or not there’s any cause of worry for them.

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