KOCHI: With the unfortunate death of 23-year-old software engineer Subhasri Ravi in Chennai when an illegal hoarding fell on her, the question that everyone is asking is ‘how safe is Kochi?'Are rules strictly enforced in the city to guard against illegal hoardings and banners? Kochi-based hoarding companies have assured that billboards have been installed following all safety guidelines.
Alex Michael, owner of Aim Ads and Events Co, said the board installed on the side of the road leading to Subhasri’s death could not be termed a hoarding.
“Temporary boards and hoardings are different. Hoardings are installed after a series of formalities. They include government approval and a certificate from the structural engineer concerned,” he said. Alex urged the public to understand this difference and not to generalise all public boards as hoardings.
Sooraj TS, a designer at Sign Flex Printers, said, “In Kerala, we follow all the safety norms. Hoardings are installed with metal anglers (frames) after proper welding. If it is on the ground, they are given a concrete foundation. Moreover, we do not have flex boards or hoardings for family and marriage functions apart from the ones for movies. Movie boards do not have any connection with advertisement hoardings.”
Following the Chennai tragedy, actors including Mammootty, Vijay and Surya, have decided to stop using banners and hoardings as part of their movie promotions.