An FIR was registered against District Municipal Corporation South Advertising Director Wazir Ali on Friday for allowing billboards to be put up in Karachi despite the Supreme Court’s orders.
On Thursday, when the fourth spell of monsoon began in Karachi, two motorcyclists were injured after a billboard collapsed on them near Metropole Chowrangi.
One of the injured, a 65-year-old, sustained multiple fractures and a head injury after which his nephew filed a complaint at the Artillery Maidan police station.
The FIR has named Ali and the brand advertised on the board. It blames them for putting up billboards despite the Supreme Court’s orders to remove them from all public properties.
“The DMC should cover all the medical expenses of the injured men,” the FIR added.
Following the incident, Karachi’s commissioner issued a notification ordering the removal of all billboards and signboards from the roads to avoid “human losses and damage to property during the rain”.
On the other hand, Mayor Wasim Akram has said that he does not have the power to regulate billboards. “I overlook nullahs and graveyards,” he told SAMAA TV.
According to the former Sindh Advertisers Association president, Sabir Ali, after the Supreme Court’s orders, they have been only allowed to paste posters on walls at an elevation.
“This does not happen because both the authorities and the advertisers are involved in corruption,” he pointed out.
The Supreme Court had ordered officials in Karachi to remove billboards from public property because they had become a safety hazard. During rains or when strong winds blow in the city, the boards often collapse, sometimes onto houses and other times onto pedestrians or motorists. Several people have been killed by falling billboards.