Mumbai Hoarding Tragedy

Mumbai Hoarding Tragedy

Context: At least 16 people were killed when a massive 250-tonne advertisement hoarding on Government Railway Police land in Mumbai\'s Ghatkopar collapsed during a dust storm. In the wake of this tragedy, it is important for the safety regulations pertaining to hoardings to be examined and for the legal responsibility for the event to be determined.

Safety Norms Apply to Hoardings:

• Local bodies issue licenses for advertisement hoardings, with specific regulations varying by location.

• In Mumbai, the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act of 1888, amended over time, mandates that the written permission of the Municipal Commissioner is necessary for erecting such structures.

• The Policy Guidelines for Display of Advertisements 2018 requires structural stability certification from a registered structural engineer as a prerequisite for erecting hoardings.

• Additionally, the policy guidelines dictate that hoardings existing as of May 1, 2014, must be reinstalled to incorporate structural stability requirements.

• From a technical standpoint, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) provides specifications for wind loads on hoardings and outlines formulae for calculating force coefficients applicable to these wind-facing structures.


Factors Leading to Ghatkopar
Legal Responsibility for Ghatkopar Incident
he massive hoarding did not meet
size norms.
The government and owners of private structures are legally
responsible for ensuring compliance with size regulations and
overall safety standards
Safety norms were apparently
liberalized to tap the city’s full
financial potential
Various entities are responsible for ensuring adherence to safety
norms, including the government agencies responsible for
formulating and implementing policies and the owners of the
hoarding structures.
The Mumbai Municipal Corporation
(MMC) Act 1888 provides some
regulatory exemptions to hoardings on
railway land
The government, as well as the agencies involved in regulatory
exemptions, are responsible for ensuring that safety standards are
upheld, irrespective of exemptions granted.
Administrative lethargy was cited as a
reason for not enforcing safety laws on
Individuals and agencies responsible for enforcement, including the
Government Railway Police, are legally accountable for their failure
to uphold safety laws and regulations, leading to administrative
No database of permits was available,
indicating a lack of oversight.
Government bodies responsible for issuing permits and
maintaining records, such as the Mumbai Municipal Corporation,
bear legal responsibility for ensuring the availability of accurate
permit databases and regulatory compliance.
Extreme weather events exposed weak
infrastructure links. 
Government agencies responsible for infrastructure maintenance
and safety, along with private entities owning structures, are legally
liable for failing to ensure the structural integrity of hoardings,
particularly during extreme weather conditions.
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