BMC sets up 8-person committee to address billboards and outdoor advertising in Mumbai

The new committee will address environmental and health issues and traffic safety implications of granting permissions of digital hoardings.

By  Storyboard18May 23, 2024 11:05 AM
BMC sets up 8-person committee to address billboards and outdoor advertising in Mumbai
The committee will reportedly deliver a report in the next couple of months.

Post the collapse of the illegal hoarding in Mumbai on May 13, The BMC has now brought together a panel of eight members including experts from the Indian Institution of Technology, Bombay to form detailed and relevant guidelines and rules with respect to billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising in Mumbai, as per reports.

The panel includes Rakesh Kumar, an environmental expert and a past employee of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute. Professors Avjit Maji, Nagendra Rao Velaga and Shreekumar from IIT Bombay’s industrial design department are a part of the panel as well.

Also on the panel are BMC additional commissioner Ashwini Joshi, who will head the panel, Anil Kumbhare, joint police commissioner, Kiran Dighavkar, BMC’s deputy commissioner and Anil Kate, superintendent of license.

The notification issued by the BMC on May 8 said, “The emergence of digital hoardings with high-resolution animations brings forth a new set of challenges. It necessitates a comprehensive assessment of associated risks, such as driver distraction on expressways, health implications of placement in residential areas, and environmental impacts like light pollution.”

The new committee will address environmental and health issues and traffic safety implications of granting permissions of digital hoardings, the notification added.

The committee will reportedly deliver a report in the next couple of months.

Bhavesh Bhinde, owner of Ego Media, was arrested and taken into police custody on May 16, as per reports. Bhinde is the owner of of the media site and giant illegal ad hoarding that collapsed and killed 14 people and injured 75. The billboard crashed during a dust storm and unseasonal rains which lashed Mumbai. Bhinde has been charged with culpable homicide, accoring to reports. Bhinde was arrested by Mumbai Police Crime Branch in Udaipur and was brought to Mumbai.

The BMC said in a release issued on May 15, that the notices have been sent to the authorities for the removal of hoardings above 40 x 40 feet size, under Section 30 (2) (V) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The release stated, “Taking into consideration the geographical position of Mumbai, the coastal region, its weather and wind conditions, the civic body has decided not to permit the erection of hoardings larger than 40×40 feet in size.”

Additionally, the BMC has said that it has undertaken the demolition of illegal hoardings on “war footing” and has already begun demolition of the remaining three hoardings GRP’s land in Ghatkopar, claiming that they were erected without proper authorisation and permission.

“The three hoardings at Chheda Nagar will be demolished, taking the wind speed into consideration,” the BMC said.

As per reports, the BMC has already removed a large hoarding of a sweet shop outside Malad railway station in Mumbai. Several citizens had complained about the hoarding via social media.

#FreeOurSkylines - Fight against illegal ad hoardings: A terrible tragedy struck on May 13 after a 100-foot-tall illegal billboard fell at a petrol pump in Ghatkopar during dust storms and unseasonal rains in Mumbai. The killer hoarding caused the deaths of over a dozen people and injured many others. The catastrophic incident outraged citizens who have been dealing with the menace of illegal ad hoardings. The people don't want just answers but solutions, as they turn to civic authorities, advertising agencies, industry bodies, brand marketers, and media owners, to take responsibility and fight against the menace of illegal advertising hoardings. So speak up and join the #FreeOurSkylines movement. Write to us at Storyboard18@nw18.com with your concerns and views, and let’s make our cities safer together.

First Published on May 23, 2024 11:01 AM

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