Take full responsibility for oversized hoardings in monsoon: SC to Railways | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Take full responsibility for oversized hoardings in monsoon: SC to Railways

ByAbraham Thomas
Jun 15, 2024 08:28 AM IST

The Supreme Court on Friday told the Railways that it will be solely responsible for any mishap caused due to its oversized hoardings in Mumbai during the monsoon sea

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday told the Railways that it will be solely responsible for any mishap caused due to its oversized hoardings in Mumbai during the monsoon season. This came after the court was informed that 23 oversized billboards measuring more than 40ft in length and breadth exist on land belonging to central and western railways which are structurally safe.

HT Image
HT Image

A vacation bench of justices Sanjay Kumar and Augustine George Masih had a week ago expressed concern over the danger posed by oversized hoardings following the incident at Ghatkopar on May 13 when a strong wind brought down a gigantic hoarding killing 17 persons. The court had asked Railways for information on the number of large billboards on Railway land after the latter refused to remove them as required by a letter issued by the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on May 15.

Additional solicitor general (ASG) Vikramjit Banerjee appearing for Railways informed the court that in Mumbai, the western and central railways put together have 23 hoardings of over 40 ft X 40 ft (the dimension stipulated by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) on its land for which the licensees have submitted structural safety certificates and that these hoardings are regularly inspected by structural engineers.

Not willing to remove the huge billboards, some measuring over 100 ft in length, the railways told the court that removing them abruptly would entail commercial and legal ramifications and will require the licensees to also be heard.

The bench posted the matter for hearing on July 10 and recorded an undertaking by Railways. The order passed by the court said, “ASG Banerjee on instruction states that Railways takes full responsibility for the hoardings in the central and western railway lines and ensure that no untoward incident occurs during the present monsoon.”

The response filed by the Railways before the top court said, “All hoardings erected on railway land are awarded through open tender or e-auction system...As far as safety of railway hoardings are concerned, in terms of contractual provisions, every year structural stability certificate are called for from concerned licensees.” Providing figures of such hoardings, the railways said that 5 out of 137 hoardings in western railways and 18 out of 149 hoardings in central railways fall in the category which DDMA had listed as oversized that need to be removed.

The railways argued that there is no illegal hoarding in the railway land and even the Ghatkopar billboard involved in the tragic incident of May 13 was not situated on railway land.

The court was hearing an application filed by the DDMA chief, who is also the additional commissioner of MCGM, against the refusal by the western and central railways to comply with an order issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DMA) on May 15 asking them to carry out structural audit of all hoardings and remove all oversized hoardings following the May 13 incident. The MCGM commissioner is the ex-officio chairperson of the DDMA.

The application by DDMA was filed in a matter pending before the top court since 2018 where the top court is considering the applicability of Mumbai’s municipal laws on hoardings erected by railways in the railway premises.

Audit carried out after the Ghatkopar incident attributed the collapse to weak foundation supporting the billboard pillar that could not sustain the wind speed of 87 kmph recorded on the day of the incident.

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crickit, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Infographics & much more. Explore now!

Stay updated with all the Breaking News and Latest News from Mumbai. Click here for comprehensive coverage of top Cities including Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and more across India along with Stay informed on the latest happenings in World News.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, July 21, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On