Mumbai: The BMC's aim to have digital hoardings on the Eastern and Western Express Highways seems to have hit a blind spot. Under the ambitious Mumbai beautification programme, the civic body is encouraging advertisers to convert their hoardings into digital ones by lowering the rents of display spaces. So far, 8-10 such hoardings have come up across the city. Each of them flashes 8-10 adverts in a day.
But commuters said that they were being inconvenienced due to the sheer brightness of these huge displays, which causes momentary vision loss, also known as flash blindness. Taking to social media, several people uploaded videos of their 'bright' ordeal and complained that the problem is a safety hazard as its distracting drivers.
Complains from Western Express Highway in Andheri East, Juhu circle and Chembur
“When you're riding a bike on the Western Express Highway in Andheri East, this particular digital advertisement board (referring to the uploaded pic) will literally make you blind for a second as it keeps changing the advertisement. It's extremely bright,” said a Twitter user. Few others responded that a similar problem exists at the Juhu circle and Chembur.
Dhaval Shah, the Chairman of Lokhandwala and Oshiwara Citizens Association, said, “It's wrong to set up such bright advertisement boards on the highways with heavy traffic movement. The brightness emitted from these boards could be fatal as motorists travel at high speed and also there are more turns on the Western Express Highway.” If the BMC is installing digital hoardings on internal roads then it can be understood but not on highways, he added.
We will think of solution: Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic)
Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Pravin Padwal said, “We haven't received any such complaints yet. But if people are experiencing such problems, we will think of a solution. We will write to the BMC asking them to make structural changes to digital hoardings like changing its placement or placing it further up.”
Earlier, the BMC charged Rs2.25 lakh monthly for digital hoarding and Rs1.6 lakh for regular ones. But now the civic body takes the latter amount for both kinds of displays.
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