Ego to create Limca Book of Records with largest hoarding claims 14 lives

Ego is accused of enacting 120x120 square feet hoarding, much above the permissible limit of 40x40 square feet set by BMC, and poisoning nine trees

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Ghatkopar hoarding collapse
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New Delhi: Mumbai-based outdoor agency Ego Media’s giant-size hoarding claimed 14 lives and left 74 people injured in the Ghatkopar area on Monday following the gusty winds.

As the name suggests, Ego’s quest to enter the Limca Book of Records is prima facie responsible for this tragedy.

Mumbai is known for the largest number of hoardings in India making the city the largest contributor to the out-of-home (OOH) advertising.

However, the Ego’s ego has put all the outdoor agencies in trouble as BMC is expected to inspect the hoarding across the city.

For now, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has asked Ego to remove the remaining three hoardings near the spot.

A case has been registered against Bhavesh Bhinde, the owner of M/s Ego Media Private Limited and others for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code at Pant Nagar police station.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar assured of stringent action against those responsible for the hoarding collapse incident in the city.

The Assistant Police Commissioner (Admin) had given permission for erecting the four hoardings on behalf of the Commissioner of Railway Police, Mumbai, including the one which collapsed on Monday, but no official permission or NOC was obtained from the BMC.

A BMC official said the land on which the hoarding was erected is the Collector land and it was in possession of Police Housing Welfare Corporation of the Government of Maharashtra as per the property card records.

The land was initially given to the Government Railway Police for use, it stated.

Earlier on May 2, the BMC issued a notice to the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Admin) of Railway Police to instruct the advertising agency about the cancellation of all permissions and remove the hoardings, the BMC official said.

Mumbai Police had registered a case against the concerned advertising agency for allegedly poisoning trees, which were obstructing the view of the hoardings in Chheda Nagar area, he said.

A case was registered against the Mulund-based M/s Ego Media on July 13, 2023, at Pant Nagar police station for poisoning nine coconut trees and two bottle palm trees, the official said.

Though the BMC allows holdings of a maximum size of 40x40 square feet, the illegal hoarding that collapsed measured 120 x 120 square feet in size, the official said.

He said the work order for the installation of the hoarding was initially given in December 2021 by the then Assistant Commissioner of Police on behalf of the GRP Commissioner.

According to sources, the three hoardings are likely to be removed on Tuesday by the BMC.

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