Mumbai: BMC Tightens Regulations Regarding Hoardings After Ghatkopar Billboard Collapse

Mumbai: BMC Tightens Regulations Regarding Hoardings After Ghatkopar Billboard Collapse

As per report submitted by Veermata Jijabai Institute of Technological Institute (VJTI) the foundation of billboards that crashed in Ghatkopar was weak.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Thursday, June 13, 2024, 09:41 PM IST
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Mumbai News: BMC Makes Stricter Regulations On Digital Hoardings After Ghatkopar Billboard Collapse | representative pc

Mumbai: The digital hoardings have become a cause of concern for the city. So, after restricting the time to illuminate such hoardings, the civic authorities have now requested the Mumbai police and the Traffic Department to monitor digital hoardings that remain illuminated after 11 PM. A senior officials of the license department have also been instructed to inspect the size of all the hoardings in the city, the adherence to the switch-off time for digital hoardings and the display of QR codes on them. The officials will have to submit their report within a week.

A month after a tragic incident of a giant billboard crashing on a petrol pump in Ghatkopar, killing 17 people and injuring 75, the BMC has prepared a draft policy for hoardings in the city. Till now, hoarding owners only had to submit structural audit reports from empanelled consultants. As per the new standard operating protocol (SOP), submitting drawings, audits, inspection and stability certification will be mandatory for all hoardings. Also, a separate set of guidelines has been prepared for existing hoardings. The new guidelines were listed in a meeting between civic officials and the office of additional chief secretary (home) Mantralaya on Wednesday.

At present, Mumbai has 1,025 hoardings, of which 67 are digitised. BMC is receiving several applications to convert the others into digital hoardings. However, these hoardings have been a cause of concern, including environmental aspects like light pollution, health impacts, and problems faced by the motorists during driving. The numerous illuminated billboards continue to operate past 11 pm, violating Section 16 (y) (1) of Part-2 of the Advertising Guidelines 2008. On Thursday, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (special) Kiran Dighavkar wrote to the Traffic Department and Mumbai Police (Law and Order), urging them to increase night patrols and inspect digital hoardings after the stipulated switch-off time. 

"Any violations need to be documented with a GPS time stamped photograph and reported to the local ward officials for further action," stated the letter. Four senior officials of BMC's License department have been instructed to inspect the size of all the hoardings in the city and submit reports in seven days. "If the hoardings violate the rules, their deposit of Rs. 2 lakh will be forfeited. However, in case of second time offender, the licences of such hoardings which violate the time limit will be cancelled," said a senior civic official. 

As per report submitted by Veermata Jijabai Institute of Technological Institute (VJTI) the foundation of billboards that crashed in Ghatkopar was weak. So, the new policy will also focus on the construction of the hoarding. Meanwhile, the BMC has requested the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay to nominate two experts to help in policy formation. For guidance and expertise in environmental aspects, BMC has consulted Rakesh Kumar, former director of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). The BMC will invite suggestions and objections to the draft policy after July 5. 

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