Ghatkopar hoarding collapse: Land was leased to advertising firm by GRP sans security deposit, say police

14 June,2024 11:15 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

The 120x120 feet billboard crashed on May 13 on the petrol pump in suburban Ghatkopar amid gusty winds and heavy rains, killing 17 persons and injuring 74 others

Pic/PTI


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The officials on Thursday said that permission to install a giant hoarding in Mumbai, whose crash killed 17 persons last month, near a petrol pump was given by the Government Railway Police (GRP) to an advertising firm without taking any security deposit, reported news agency PTI.

The 120x120 feet billboard crashed on May 13 on the petrol pump in suburban Ghatkopar amid gusty winds and heavy rains, killing 17 persons and injuring 74 others.

A senior official told PTI that the land in question was in possession of the Government Railway Police and permission to erect the hoarding near a petrol pump was given to M/s Ego Media Pvt Ltd for 10 years with the approval of then-GRP Commissioner Quaiser Khalid.

The official said that the GRP was receiving Rs 13 lakh per month as rent from the advertising firm for leasing out the land for the hoarding.

He further said that as per the monthly rent, the GRP could have collected security deposit of Rs 40 lakh from the advertising firm. However, the then-GRP commissioner allowed the private company to erect the hoarding without taking any security deposit, reported PTI.

Earlier, the GRP had collected Rs 40 lakh from Ego Media for three hoardings, which were allotted to them as per tendering rules, the official maintained, reported PTI.

He said police are probing as to why the GRP, then-headed by Khalid, did not take security deposit from the advertising firm, reported PTI.

The official said that the role of then-GRP officials and also of Mumbai civic officials concerned in giving permission for the billboard and other formalities is also being investigated by the police, reported PTI.

The police have set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the Ghatkopar hoarding collapse. The Maharashtra government has formed a separate committee under former Allahabad High Court chief justice Dilip Bhosle to probe the Ghatkopar hoarding collapse.

So far, the Mumbai crime branch has arrested Ego Media owner Bhavesh Bhinde, the firm's former director Janhavi Marathe, BMC-approved engineer Manoj Sanghu, who had issued a stability certificate for the hoarding, and one more person in connection with the Ghatkopar hoarding collapse.

(With inputs from PTI)

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