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We’re Committed To Assisting The Govt. & BMC In Auditing & Regulating Mumbai’s Hoarding Structures: IOAA

Sharing an official statement on the recent tragedy that struck Ghatkopar last Monday, wherein an allegedly illegal 14,400 square feet billboard crashed and claimed over 16 lives and left 74 injured, Pawan Bansal, President, Indian Outdoor Advertising Association, mentioned that the IOAA is determined to work closely with all relevant authorities to enhance safety measures and regulatory compliances to make necessary improvements.

| Published on May 20, 2024

We’re Committed To Assisting The Govt. & BMC In Auditing & Regulating Mumbai’s Hoarding Structures: IOAA

A week after the gigantic billboard came crashing down at Mumbai’s Ghatkopar claiming over 16 lives and causing injury to 74 individuals, the President of the Indian Outdoor Advertising Association, Pawan Bansal, has issued a press statement.

Here is what the statement reads:

On behalf of the India Outdoor Advertising Association (IOAA) and its members, we wish to express our deep sorrow over the tragic incident that resulted in the loss of life following the collapse of a billboard at a petrol station in Ghatkopar, Mumbai. This event has deeply affected us, and our thoughts are with the families enduring this painful time.

The IOAA has consistently advocated for strict adherence to local regulations and safety standards concerning the installation of hoardings. We prioritize safety and diligently promote compliance among our members.

In response to this incident, the IOAA fully supports the initiatives undertaken by the Maharashtra Government and the BMC to audit and regulate hoarding structures throughout the city. We are committed to assisting in these efforts to ensure such a tragedy does not occur again.

We are determined to work closely with all relevant authorities to enhance safety measures and regulatory compliance. We appreciate the ongoing support and understanding of the community as we strive to make necessary improvements.

With Mumbai, the advertising capital of India, witnessing its first spell of rainfall last Monday, what came crashing down was an allegedly illegal billboard of 120 ft x 120 ft (approximately 14,400 Sq Feet) in Pant Nagar, Ghatkopar East.

The hoarding which was erected, owned and managed by Ego Media and its agencies- Pacific Digital and Minimax Ads had cost the lives of over 16 individuals and injured 74 others.

Post this incident, the Mumbai Police had lodged a case against Bhavesh Bhinde, the company’s Director, on grounds of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and arrested him from his hideout in Udaipur, Rajasthan, on May 16.

On the hoarding’s illegality, several media reports have suggested that the size of this particular hoarding in question was exceeding the legal size approved by BMC by almost three times.
However, it was the GRP who had granted the permission to the agency to erect the billboard without ascertaining if it was following civic guidelines on size and dimensions.

That being said, when former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya filed a complaint to the BMC regarding Ego Media’s involvement in cutting and poisoning trees that blocked the hoardings, the latter in its letter dated May 2 to the GRP had asked to initiate the removal process of the hoarding and the same had begun but not completed when the one collapsed near a gas station in Ghatkopar.

On the day of the billboard crash, Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde had ordered a structural audit of all the hoardings in Mumbai with the Civic Commissioner being tasked with the removal of all illegal and unauthorised hoardings immediately.

Post this, the BMC asked the Railway authorities to conduct a structural audit of 205 hoardings put up on the land of Central and Western Railways and remove the 45 billboards that exceeded the approved size.

In the wake of this atrocity, the Delhi Municipal Corporation amongst others has also ordered the structural audit of outdoor ads in the region.

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