Karachi: After a video clip went viral showing two motorcycle riders horribly struck by an advertising billboard during heavy rain in city, Karachi’s Commissioner Iftikhar Ali Shalwani has ordered immediate removal of billboards all over the city to save human lives.
It is learnt the video clip in question depicts the famous Metropole Road intersection of Karachi where on Friday an advertising billboard during heavy rain hurtled from a building due to high speed wind and struck two riders on a motorcycle who immediately fell on the road in a terrifying manner along with their two-wheeler conveyance. The accident halted traffic midway on the main road of the city as people rushed to rescue the two riders, who were treated for their injuries and discharged from hospital.
The video clip was widely shared on social media as people termed it the most frightening accident of current monsoon season in Karachi.
The order issued by the office of city’s commissioner asked various municipal and civic agencies in Karachi to immediately remove billboards in their respective jurisdiction. In the past, falling billboards during extreme weather conditions caused fatal accidents in the city. The issue attracted the attention of the Supreme Court of the country, which earlier ordered removal of the billboards and advertising signboards from the city to ensure public safety, after which the problem was controlled to a large extent.
The main issue is that the city is being controlled by too many civic agencies including cantonments and federal land-owning entities as there is no uniformity of municipal by-laws to regulate affairs of Karachi including the issue of billboards. Advertising hoardings and billboards were a major source of revenue generation for the cash-strapped municipal and civic agencies of Karachi.
After Friday’s accident, Member of Sindh Assembly belonging to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Shahzad Qureshi, who represents posh Clifton and Defence Housing Authority neighbourhoods of Karachi in the provincial assembly, shared on his facebook account a video clip of billboards installed near famous “Teen Talwar” (three swords) roundabout in Clifton area.
He said that these billboards should also be removed as they pose a serious risk to public safety.
In a separate statement, Karachi chapter President of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Khurrum Sher Zaman said that he had contacted the Karachi’s commissioner after the Friday’s accident and urged him to immediately take action to remove the billboards.