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A month after hoarding collapse: Pune Municipal Corporation removes 139 illegal hoarding in the city

Areas like Ahmednagar road, Warje and Hadapsar, Katraj-Ambegaon had maximum number of illegal hoardings.

pune Updated: Nov 05, 2018 15:48 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,illegal hoardings,recounting tragedy
Scaffoldings of hoardings on Katraj - Dehuroad bypass highway in Pune, on Friday(Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

A month after hoarding collapse incident, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has removed 139 frames in the city even as enquiry report from the Railway committee to probe the incident is still awaited.

On October 5, a massive hoarding frame collapsed while it was being removed at the busy Juna Bazar, killing four persons and injuring seven. Following the incident, Pune civic body carried out audit of all the identified 223 illegal hoardings in the city and removed 139 of them.

Most of the illegal hoardings are from 15 wards of PMC. Areas like Ahmednagar road, Warje and Hadapsar, Katraj-Ambegaon had maximum number of illegal hoardings. The action to remove them was largely focused in these areas.

Vijay Dahibhate, chief, sky sign department, PMC said, “Against the backdrop of the incident of the hoarding collapse at the Shahir Amar Shaikh chowk near Junna Bazaar, we have initiated strong action against illegal hoardings in the city.In which we have found that,areas like Ahmednagar road,warje and Hadapsar had large number of illegal hoardings.However in Bibwewadi we found just one illegal hoarding.” Procedure of identifying and removal of illegal hoardings is still going on,informed by Dahibhate.

RECOUNTING TRAGEDY
On October 5, a massive hoarding frame collapsed while it was being dismantled at busy Juna Bazaar, killing four persons and injuring seven
1. Areas like Ahmednagar road, Warje and Hadapsar, Katraj-Ambegaon had maximum number of illegal hoardings. The action to remove them was largely focused in these areas.
2. The hoarding collapse incident lead the railway authority to form a four member committee to look into the case. A railway spokesperson, on October 6, had assured a report from the committee within 15 days. However, as the committee has been denied access to the two arrested employees, the report has remained elusive from submission.
Those who lost their lives included Bhimrao Kasar (70); Shymrao Dhotre (46); Javed Khan (45) and Shivaji Pardeshi (40).
Pardeshi, an autorikshaw driver was returning home after immersing his wife’s ashes when frame fell on his rikshaw. His wife passed away a day before the hoarding collapse tragedy.
Contractor responsible for dismantling the frame reportedly removed the frame from the rear end without providing any support.
After the incident, Bund Garden police arrested three persons: junior engineer Sanjay Vishnudev Singh; blacksmith Pandurang Nivrutti Vanare and Mohammad Farooqi of caption advertising.

According to data shared by sky sign department of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC),there are around 1,750 legal hoardings in the city. After the recent hoarding frame collapse incident,PMC has started illegal search operation and found 223 illegal hoardings.Out of these PMC has removed 139 hoardings.And removal procedure is going on.

The civic body removed an illegal hoarding in Bopodi on Saturday and the officials said that continuous action will be taken against other illegal hoardings erected in the city. “In the audit, all the parameters including the size of the hoardings, permissions, safety of the structure and positions of the hoardings will be monitored. On Saturday, we initiated our drive from Bopodi where we have dismantled one illegal hoarding,” Dahibhate said.

Responding to the incidence,mayor Mukta Tilak held a meeting with the municipal administration officials and instructed them to take action against illegal hoardings and banners in the city after complaints about hoardings defacing various areas were reported.

After the order from the mayor,the head of the anti-encroachment department has formed 15 teams in 15 wards of the city to keep vigilance on illegal banners in the city.Madhav Jagtap, head of the anti-encroachment department said, “We have formed various teams and instructed to conduct a drive against illegal banners in the city.”Jagtap added that list of illegal hoardings has been compiled at the ward level and action has been taken at ward level only.

Civic officers informed that,after identification of illegal hoardings,officials send notice to remove it within a stipulated time.If the owner of the illegal hoarding fails to remove it in given timing,then PMC ward level officers remove it and hoarding removing charges and fine would be incurred from owner of the illegal hoarding.

Hoarding collapse: denied access to arrested men, railways fail to submit inquiry report

On October 5, when four people were crushed under a hoarding whose partially felled structure came crashing on a group of vehicles waiting at a red traffic light, railways, on whose property the hoarding was standing, constituted a committee to look into the incident.

The incident led to formation of a four-member committee constituted in order to investigate the matter while the police arrested two railway employees. However, as the committee has been denied access to the two arrested employees, the report has remained elusive from submission.

A railway spokesperson, on October 6, had assured a report from the committee within 15 days. The committee members includes the senior divisional security commissioner of Pune division and three junior administrator-level officers from Mumbai.

“They had asked for permission from the court to question the two arrested men. However, they were denied access,” said Milind Deoskar, divisional railway manager of Pune.

While DRM Deoskar did not deny railway negligence, he said that the railway authorities were in the process of getting rid of hoardings which did not have structural audits and other due procedural requirements in place. “Negligence should be accepted as the hoarding did not fall on its own. Lessons need to be learned in order avoid reoccurrence of such incidents,” he said.

The railway officials have ascertained that the statements from the two men are pivotal for completion of the report, which will be submitted at the headquarters in Mumbai. The committee was appointed by the officials at regional railway headquarter in Mumbai.

The police had arrested junior engineer Sanjay Vishnudev Singh, 42, who was looking after the felling and blacksmith Pandurang Nivrutti Vanare, 57, who was assisting him in the process. Mohammad Farooqi of Caption Advertising, who had the contract of the hoarding until days before the incident, was also arrested by the police. The police are on the lookout for Mallikarjun Bankapure, the man who had the contract of cutting down the hoarding.

First Published: Nov 05, 2018 15:48 IST