Thursday, June 13, 2024

80pc billboards unauthorised

Offenders cash in on HC order that stays dismantling of rooftop hoardings
Four out of every five hoardings in the capital are unauthorised, posing threat to public safety in inclement weather, says the Dhaka City Corporation, reports The Daily Star.
DCC Estate Officer Khalil Ahmed told The Daily Star Tuesday that almost 80 percent of the hoardings in the city are unauthorised, and most are mounted without considering the risk they pose to people or the buildings that nestle those.
“A building has a weight capacity it can sustain. Many owners rent out hoarding space for some extra cash without considering that he or she is putting the building at grave risk,” he said.
Advertisers, however, continue to set up unauthorised hoardings on rooftops at unsafe places and in unsafe manner taking advantage of a High Court order in 2007 that asked the DCC, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha and the police not to tear them down until a case in this regard is disposed of.
Two people died and eight were injured during a thunderstorm in the capital Monday evening when an 800sqft hoarding on top of a shopping arcade could not withstand the wind and collapsed on a Gulshan street. A fast-food shop employee and a car driver were crushed to death.
According to statistics from the DCC, they had given permission to set up 1,370 hoardings in the capital until 2008-2009 fiscal year. Of them, 189 were on land owned by the DCC, one on the roof of a DCC office, 501 on private land and 679 on the roofs of private buildings.
The DCC did not authorise any hoardings after that even though thousands of hoardings had been set up illegally at different points of the city, said an official of the DCC. It, however, failed to take any effective measure against them citing various reasons.
Earlier, the DCC conducted a drive against unauthorised hoardings following a number of hoarding-related accidents that killed three people in the city in 2006 and 2007.
The DCC in July, 2007, decided not to allow any hoardings and signboards on rooftops and asked building owners, through ads in a number of national dailies, to pull them down immediately.
On September 9, 2007, Rajuk published a notice in several national dailies also asking building owners to pull down hoardings on their rooftops by September 16, 2007.
The initiatives of the DCC and Rajuk to pull down hoardings from rooftops came to a halt on December 10, 2007 when the High Court issued a stay order against the move, said a DCC official.
Taking advantage of this order, advertisers have been setting up thousands of unsafe and unauthorised hoardings on rooftops and elsewhere in the city that pose serious risk to people.
“There are many reasons for a hoarding to collapse…the base of the board not being built properly, use of poor base materials or angles of the board not being properly set,” said Ali Alam of Shatorupa Ad.
Chief Town Planner of the DCC Sirajul Islam said, “Who have been continuing their drive against illegal hoardings.”
He said the hoarding that collapsed Monday did not have DCC’s permission.
Rafiul Islam, president of Outdoor Advertising Owners Association, said the authorities concerned should form a probe committee to find out the reasons behind the hoarding collapse. He said the committee could punish people if found responsible.
The hoardings, apart from being unauthorised and poorly set up, tend to give motorists another reason to take their eyes off the street.
“They are very flashy and colourful,” said Saleh, a traffic sergeant at Gulshan-2 intersection.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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