The civic body is considering changing specifications for hoardings on electricity poles after a nine-year-old boy, Viraj Parmar, died when his head hit a metal-framed banner fixed on a lamppost at Sion while peeking out of a school bus on Wednesday.
The corporation has also tried to shift the blame on the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST) undertaking saying it Sion, is the latter’s responsibility to ensure such hoardings are safe as it the one which earns revenue from them.
Among the amendments being mulled are an increase in the space between such poles and the road, and replacing metal boxes on which posters are stuck with flex boards.
Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner, said, “After this case, we have realised that placing the lamppost at a greater distance from the road would have made a difference. Hence, we are considering changes to ensure that there is at least three feet of safety space between the road’s outer edge and the lamppost.”
Adtani said that the civic body is also contemplating if cloth or flex banners should be made mandatory. “We will check the feasibility of placing advertisements on flex boards instead of the metal board that is currently allowed. We will have to check if it is financially viable, since the BEST earns considerable revenue from these advertisements,” said Adtani.
The BEST has awarded rights to contractors for displaying ads on the electricity lampposts, numbering around 33,000 in the city. The civic body only charges a licence fees for them. Adtani said, “So, the BEST is responsible for the advertisement board.”
The BEST has denied the claim. “It was not the BEST’s fault. The bus driver took the vehicle very close to the footpath while reversing,” said a BEST official. Om Prakash Gupta, general manager of the BEST undertaking, was not available for comment.