Our hoardings are not illegal: Railways

Sushant Ranjan
Sunday, 7 October 2018

The Central Railway, on Saturday, denied charges levelled by the Sky Sign Department of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) that the hoardings installed on the railway property were oversized and illegal. 

Pune: The Central Railway, on Saturday, denied charges levelled by the Sky Sign Department of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) that the hoardings installed on the railway property were oversized and illegal. 
PMC officials had also alleged that even after over a dozen reminders, the railway administration had refused to take cognisance of the fact and continued to house the illegal hoardings, thereby causing the accident.

Central Railway Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO) Sunil Udasi informed mediapersons on Saturday, after our persons were killed while ten others were injured after a massive hoarding fell on around 14 people, who were waiting at the traffic signal near Juna Bazaar, on Friday at around 2 pm.

As per railway authorities, the hoarding policy of PMC does not apply to it as was pointed out by the Bombay High Court in a December 2017 order. As per them, they had also written back to PMC, giving a point by point rebuttal to the charges levelled by the corporation about its hoardings on February 15, 2018.

On Friday, PMC alleged that they have sent notices to the railway authority about the illegal hoarding. In this regard, CPRO said, “We received a letter from PMC about the hoarding. We had given a reply on February 15, with mention of the High Court of Bombay order of December 21, 2017, on the writ petition. We replied to them with the order copy, which stated that the hoardings, which are erected by the Railways would not require the permission of the Corporation either under Section 328 or 328A of the MMC Act and consequently no license would be required under Section 479.”

“We are fully cooperating with the police, who are investigating the matter. We would like to ensure that those who are found guilty, will face action. The structural audit was not submitted to us, so we decided to dismantle hoardings for which audit was not done. Six structures we have identified, in which four were removed safely. The agency that has been hired for removal, was involved the structure,” Udasi said.

High-level inquiry ordered
 CPRO Sunil Udasi said that a high-level inquiry has already been started by the Zonal Office, Mumbai. AK Singh, Deputy Chief Engineer (Bridge), Shiv Kumar, Deputy Chief Safety Officer (Engineering), KV Thomas, Deputy Chief Commercial Manager/Claims (all are from Mumbai Zonal Office) and D Vikas, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner from Pune, will submit the report within 15 days.

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