KARACHI, Feb 14: Several people were injured and vehicles damaged when a super billboard was blown off the rooftop of an apartment complex by strong winds fell on the main Rashid Minhas Road on Tuesday.

The incident caused injuries to the motorists passing by. A traffic jam lasting around two hours was caused by the incident. Traffic coming from the Sharea Faisal and Dalmia Road got stuck up.

Three seriously injured people were taken to nearby private hospitals for treatment by Edhi ambulances. Three cars including a taxi were damaged in the incident, a motorcyclist also sustained injuries.

Following the incident fire brigade and ambulances also reached the spot. After a considerable lapse of time a crane reached the spot and removed the billboard from the vehicles.

Police and eyewitnesses said that a huge billboard was affixed atop the Saima Classic Apartments located in front of the Jauhar Mor at Rashid Minhas Road.

Following the incident, police registered an FIR 61/06 at the Sharea Faisal police station for carelessness against the billboard owner.

However, police officials admitted that they still didn’t know the identity of the owner of the billboard.

An area resident said that ethically the company which had installed this billboard should pay compensation for the injuries and damages to the vehicles.

A few months back, a huge billboard erected in front of the Hotel Metropole came crashing down over a car and several other motorcycles parked beneath it. Fortunately no one was in the car at the time of the mishap.

Billboards of huge proportions (super billboards) have been installed almost in every part of the city.

The concentration of such billboards is more visible in the cantonment areas where rates are also high.

Tuesday’s incident came at a time when the city government has started a campaign to remove illegal billboards from different parts of the city.

None of the by-laws, for billboards and hoardings are being followed while putting up these huge structures in the city.

According to the proposed by-laws, for the billboard and hoardings, no sign or advertisement should be so designed or displayed, if it is detrimental to the environment artificial or natural or to the amenity of the neighbourhood by reason or either size, intensity, frequency, illumination, quality of design or materials or for any other reasons.

The billboard would not be allowed where it may obscure or conceals from sight any other signs approved in terms of these bylaws, or in any way impair the visibility of any road traffic sign or cause the driver to get distracted.

Referring to the spacing of billboards the bylaws suggest that at major thoroughfare spacing of billboards must be least 300 feet apart on the same side of the road on a straight section. Similarly, on minor roads spacing of billboards should be at least 250 feet.

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