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8 Billboards are Illegal at Tilak Bridge in Dadar East: BMC

All eight belong to Ego Media Pvt Ltd, the same agency that owned the illegal hoarding that collapsed on a petrol pump in Ghatkopar

8 Billboards are Illegal at Tilak Bridge in Dadar East: BMC

The BMC has identified eight billboards along Tilak Bridge in Dadar East that do not have the necessary permits. All eight billboards belong to Ego Media Pvt Ltd, the agency responsible for the hoarding that collapsed on a petrol pump in Ghatkopar on May 13, leading to the tragic loss of 16 lives and injuries to 74 others.

In response to this, the BMC has issued a notice to Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) instructing them to remove all oversized hoardings within three days. These hoardings are situated on various types of land, including Government Railway Police land adjacent to BMC roads, private land, and structures. This action is being taken to prevent potential disasters and ensure the safety of the public.

The notice, issued under the Disaster Management Act (2005), provides the specific locations of the eight billboards at Tilak Bridge. The BMC has cautioned that if the hoardings are not removed, the civic body will take action to remove them and the associated costs will be billed to the railway authorities.

However, a railway official has defended the presence of hoardings by emphasizing that they undergo rigorous checks and approval processes, including scrutiny by esteemed engineering institutes like the IITs and VJTI. The official stated that as a central body, they adhere to their own strict rules and regulations.

Meanwhile, the BMC is gearing up to revamp its outdoor advertisement policy to incorporate digital hoardings, in line with the latest trends in digital advertising. The new policy will be crafted with insights from experts, including the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

Acknowledging the complexities of modern advertising technologies, the BMC has proposed the formation of a multi-disciplinary committee led by Ashwini Joshi, additional municipal commissioner (city) at BMC, to oversee this transition.

“The committee is committed to ensuring that the integration of these technologies does not pose a threat to public safety or environmental preservation. According to a recent BMC circular, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Special) Kiran Dighavkar emphasized the need for a thorough assessment of risks associated with the introduction of digital hoardings featuring high-resolution animations. These risks include potential driver distraction on expressways, health concerns for residents, and environmental impacts such as light pollution.

To address these challenges, the department has reached out to the Director of IIT-Bombay, requesting the nomination of two individuals with expertise in the field to assist in policy formation. The Director has confirmed the availability of two experts who will provide valuable input. Additionally, the department has sought guidance and expertise from Rakesh Kumar, former Director of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), on environmental matters.”

The committee comprises Anil Kumbhare, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Kiran Dighavkar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Special), Anil Kate, Superintendent of Licence at BMC, Rakesh Kumar, environmental expert, Avjit Maji and Nagendra Rao Velaga, professors at IIT-B, and Professor GV Sreekumar from the Industrial Design Centre.

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