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Construction Quality Of Ghatkopar Hoarding Was Shoddy, Police Tell Court

The metropolitan magistrate accepted the plea, and extended his police custody till Thursday. Bhinde, director of Ego Media Pvt Ltd, was arrested on May 16 from Udaipur in Rajasthan

PTI
Hoarding collapse in Mumbai | Photo: PTI
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The construction quality of the hoarding that crashed in Ghatkopar earlier month was "substandard", police told a court here on Wednesday while seeking extension of main accused Bhavesh Bhinde's custody by one day.

The metropolitan magistrate accepted the plea, and extended his police custody till Thursday. Bhinde, director of Ego Media Pvt Ltd, was arrested on May 16 from Udaipur in Rajasthan.

As many as 17 persons died after the giant hoarding installed by Ego Media collapsed on a petrol pump in suburban Ghatkopar during a dust storm on May 13.

Ego Media has 28 hoardings in Mumbai region and the accused's monthly incomes was crores of rupees, but still the construction of the hoarding that crashed was of substandard quality and it resulted in 17 innocent people losing their lives and more than 80 others suffering injuries, the crime branch's plea for remand extension said.

Further, Bhinde has installed illegal hoardings in other places through an illegal company set up in the name of his accomplices, and the investigators wanted to obtain information from him about such installations as they too could pose a danger, it said.

Some firms floated by him earlier were blacklisted by the authorities, and their loan accounts turned into NPAs due to his mismanagement, the plea said.

Bhinde was in the hoarding business for a long time but cut corners during installation to make more profit, police said.

They had yet to investigate where he diverted the funds generated from the hoarding business, they added.

In Ghatkopar, he erected a 120 feet by 140 feet hoarding (which collapsed) while the permission was for an 80 feet by 80 feet hoarding, and police wanted to probe whether anyone helped him, the remand plea said.

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