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Hoarding crash – throwing caution to the winds

By Vasant Jante - May 14, 2024

The hoarding crash at Ghatkopar in Thane, Maharashtra reveals how structural stability of sites when overlooked can have such severe consequences, asserts Vasant Jante

The shocking incident of a super-large hoarding coming off its foundation and crashing on the adjacent fuel station in Ghatkopar, Thane in Maharashtra claiming reportedly 14 lives and leaving several injured is not just a result of extreme weather that the city experienced on May 13, but a case of allegedly compromised safety standards, overlapping regulatory norms, and more.

Falling billboard during heavy Mumbai rain storm

As such the gravity of the incident has drawn to it widespread media attention. And there are several looking questions that need to be addressed. At the very outset, the media owner who put up the hoarding, and apparently did not pay heed to all safety parameters to be abided by for such installations, will be brought to book. It is also apparent that the size of the media site itself was way bigger than what was permissible, which is a major violation of the norms.

Moreover, it emerges that the land on which the hoarding was set up belongs to Railway Police, and who all are required to give permissions and clearances for such a site to be put up, is seemingly a grey zone.

While the details of the crash come out in the open, in no time this incident too will be forgotten and the world will move on, and it will be business as usual. There is no guarantee that due measures will be put in place to prevent any such incident in the future.

There is no doubt that the media owning firm is squarely responsible for this hoarding crash, having thrown caution to the winds, but the moot question is, can the civic authorities and other government bodies that grant permissions or regulate the media be absolved of their responsibility and accountability in such situations?  

Image source: Still from a viral social media video

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