Mumbai hoarding collapse: Govt forms probe panel under former Allahabad HC chief justice

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Mumbai, Jun 10 (PTI) The Maharashtra government on Monday formed a committee under former Allahabad High Court chief justice Dilip Bhosle to probe the May 13 hoarding collapse in Mumbai's Ghatkopar area which resulted in 17 deaths and injuries to more than 70 persons, an official said.

The hoarding collapsed onto a petrol pump amid gusty winds and a dust storm that day.

The committee formed by the state Home department will conduct a time-bound inquiry into all aspects of the ill-fated incident, the official said.

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 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 kilometers per hour, the official had said. PTI DC BNM