Pune: Five people lost their lives after a hoarding collapsed in Pimpri-Chinchwad, prompting the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to issue an order for a structural audit of all hoardings in the city within 15 days. It has come to light that although hoarding owners submit a structural stability report every year at the time of license renewal, there is no guarantee that those who give the report are qualified professionals. As a result, audit reports taken so far have only been on paper. Going forward, the municipality will only accept structural audit certificates from qualified professionals and will verify their authenticity.
When granting permission for hoardings, the municipality takes a security bond from the professionals, and a structural audit report is attached at the time of license renewal. The municipality will now appoint a panel to conduct inspections and structural audits. The building department and the fire department already have such panels, but the sky signs department does not. Therefore, only the certificate of the professional will be considered final by the municipal corporation .
“We will check whether the certificate given by the hoarding owner is valid, and we will also conduct spot visits to check the structural stability. If the rules are not followed, the hoardings will be removed. There are 2,400 legal hoardings in the city, while 1,500 unauthorized hoardings have been installed, against which we will take stern action. We will conduct structural audits of hoardings by visiting the site, and if any flaws are found, we will take action against the person who conducted the structural stability check and against the hoarding owner,” said Madhav Jagtap, head of the Sky and Sign department at PMC.