Ghatkopar billboard collapse: State forms probe panel under former Allahabad HC chief justice | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Ghatkopar billboard collapse: State forms probe panel under former Allahabad HC chief justice

Jun 11, 2024 07:32 AM IST

Committee formed to probe Ghatkopar billboard collapse in Mumbai, resulting in 17 deaths. Arrests made, internal inquiry carried out.

Mumbai: The state government on Monday formed a committee under former Allahabad high court chief justice Dilip Bhosle to probe the May 13 Ghatkopar billboard collapse which resulted in 17 deaths and injured more than 70 persons.

HT Image
HT Image

The hoarding collapsed onto a petrol pump amid gusty winds and a dust storm that day. It was an illegal hoarding installed on GRP land. The committee formed by the state Home Department will conduct a time-bound inquiry into all aspects of the incident.

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So far, police have arrested Bhavesh Bhinde, director of Ego Media Private Limited, which had erected the structure, its former staffers Janhavi Marathe and Sagar Patil, as well as structural engineer Manoj Sanghu, who provided the stability certificate allegedly without detailed inspection. BMC engineer Sunil Dalvi, who was posted in N Ward, has been questioned by the Mumbai police’s SIT.

An internal inquiry was carried out into the incident by the Director General of Railway Police, who submitted its report to the Maharashtra DGP, who in turn handed it over to the state government, the official said.

As per the probe carried out so far, the hoarding came up on land in possession of the Government Railway Police and the permission to erect it near a petrol pump was given to Ego Media Private Limited for 10 years with the approval of then Police Commissioner of Government Railway Police Quaiser Khalid.

A report submitted by Veermata Jijabai Institute of Technological Institute (VJTI) contended the hoarding’s foundation was inadequate and weak.

While any hoarding structure must be able to withstand wind speeds of 158 kilometres per hour, the one that collapsed was able to withstand wind speeds of just 49 kmph, the VJTI report said.

On the day of the incident, the wind speed was 87 kilometres per hour, the official had said.

Former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya who had demanded a judicial commission to probe the incident welcomed the decision of the state government. “This will bring transparency in regulatory methods and monitoring of systems. There are many agencies in Mumbai and these have different sets of rules. I hope the commission will also go into detail about the non-transparency, including corrupt practices at Ghatkopar and Dadar where GRP has landed.’’

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