Mumbai Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse: BMC Sets Up Expert Panel To Frame Guidelines For Billboards In City

Mumbai Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse: BMC Sets Up Expert Panel To Frame Guidelines For Billboards In City

A huge billboard crashed on a petrol pump in Ghatkopar (East) during gusty winds and unseasonal rains. Around 75 people were also injured in the incident. The BMC has taken a review of oversize billboards that need to be removed for the safety of citizens.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 11:00 PM IST
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BMC Headquarters | File Photo

Mumbai: After the tragic incident of a hoarding collapse that claimed 17 lives, the BMC has now set up an eight-member panel to formulate comprehensive guidelines on outdoor advertising (concerning billboards) and oversee the transition to digital hoarding in the city. The panel is expected to submit a report within two months.

A huge billboard crashed on a petrol pump in Ghatkopar (East) during gusty winds and unseasonal rains. Around 75 people were also injured in the incident. The BMC has taken a review of oversize billboards that need to be removed for the safety of citizens.

However, the civic body has also received flak for following regulations established back in 2008. There have not been any changes to the regulations for the last sixteen years. Also, the BMC has not suspended any licenses of such hoarding operators for violations.

"The eight-member panel will balance the aesthetic, economic, and regulatory aspects of outdoor advertising in Mumbai," said the civic official. The panel headed by additional municipal commissioner (city) Ashwini Joshi, includes Rakesh Kumar, an ex-employee of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), the Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay's Prof.

Avjit Maji, Prof. Nagendra Rao Velaga, and Prof. Shreekumar from the department of Industrial Design as a member. Joint Police Commissioner (Traffic) Anil Kumbhare, BMC's Deputy Commissioner (Special) Kiran Dighavkar and Superintendent of License Anil Kate will also be part of this panel.

"Digital billboards cause distraction to motorists and citizens, especially in the evening and at night, health implications of placement in residential areas, and environmental impacts like light pollution. Therefore, it is expected that the advertising policy should be considered accordingly," said a civic official.

The BMC had prepared a list of 45 oversize billboards on Railway and Government Railway Police's (GRP) land. Out of which, eight billboards erected by the Ego media, who also erected huge hoarding at Ghatkopar, were removed by the BMC. The municipal commissioner Bhushan Gagrani had also announced that no new hoardings would be allowed in Mumbai until a new hoarding policy was in place.

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