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MHOA calls for tougher measures to ensure outdoor media structural stability & root out illegal media

By Rajiv Raghunath - May 17, 2024

MHOA has directed its members to immediately conduct a comprehensive safety review of all their hoardings to ensure and reinforce adherence to strict safety standards.

BMC

The Mumbai Hoarding Owners Association (MHOA) issued a strong statement on May 15 calling for “stricter enforcement of existing regulations, particularly towards illegal media and the implementation of tougher measures to ensure that hoardings continue to be a safe and credible medium.” The industry body reiterated its collective commitment to public safety and ethical advertising practices and resolved to continue to lead by example in adhering to the highest standards.

Further, in light of the horrific hoarding crash that took place in Ghatkopar, Mumbai on May 13 which claimed 16 lives, MHOA stated that the following additional steps are being taken to ensure public safety and prevent such tragedies in the future: 

  • Safety audit: The MHOA members have been directed to immediately conduct a comprehensive safety review of all hoardings to ensure and reinforce adherence to strict safety standards, especially during the pre-monsoon and monsoon months.
  • Collaboration with authorities: The Association intends to work closely with the BMC in their ongoing investigation as well as extend all support for effective monitoring and regulation of the outdoor media.

MHOA expressed its deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the hoarding crash, and pointed out that the hoarding that crashed was not licensed by the BMC as it was projected to be in the Railway premises and BMC has no jurisdiction or any governance in the Railway premises, being a Central body. In general, hoarding sites on Railway premises, even though visible from public streets, do not follow BMC guidelines and neither take BMC license nor pay any taxes to the civic body, MHOA stated in its note.

Elaborating on the guidelines laid down by BMC for media structural stability, the MHOA note explains that “all licensed hoardings in Mumbai are designed by BMC licensed structural engineers. After erection of the hoarding structure, the concerned structural engineer issues a ‘Structural Stability Certificate’. Importantly, every two years licensed hoarding owners must submit a Structural Stability Certificate again from a BMC licensed structural engineer, a necessary condition for license renewal.”

It is evident that the hoarding that crashed was operated without complying with any of these standards.

MHOA pointed out that there are 1,025 licensed hoardings being operated under the BMC jurisdiction, and some 10,000 families living in Mumbai and the city suburbs earn their livelihood from the organisations that operate these media assets.

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