May 14, 2024

Mumbai billboard collapse: State government issues notice mandating structural audit following Ghatkopar billboard disaster


Following the tragic accident yesterday when an illegal fencing board collapsed in Ghatkopar, the State Disaster Management Authority has issued directives to local bodies across Maharashtra, mandating that all fencing board structures within their jurisdiction be inspected immediately and that illegal fencing boards be removed. Further, strict action will be taken against those responsible for the illegal structures.

The Ghatkopar tragedy, which left many dead and injured, has put the state government on high alert. Adding to the urgency, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a warning of sudden rains and thunderstorms across Maharashtra. Given the current weather situation and recent tragedies, there is an increased risk of similar incidents occurring if proper precautions are not taken.

During rains and storms, it is common to see citizens taking shelter under enclosures or trees, but this poses great risks, especially as weakened structures may collapse. Authorities are urging citizens to be cautious and not to take shelter under such potentially dangerous structures during severe weather.

Also Read | Mumbai shed collapse: Timely redressal of Ghatkopar man's complaint could have averted tragedy

The directive states that the construction of the enclosures needs to be inspected regularly, especially with the increasing frequency of extreme weather events. This audit is crucial as steel enclosures are prone to damage and therefore require frequent inspections to ensure their safety. As per state government policy, such audits should be conducted every six months. However, there are concerns regarding compliance with this guideline.

The immediate focus is on ensuring compliance with structural audit requirements and addressing the dangers posed by illegal fencing. Local authorities have been instructed to prioritise these audits and act swiftly on any risks identified to prevent further tragedies.

As the state braces for more severe weather, the administration reiterated its commitment to public safety and proactively managing the city's infrastructure.


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