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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Owners to be prosecuted for violating fire norms

Poorvi Kulkarni , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 04, 2013
First Published: 08:45 IST(4/7/2013) | Last Updated: 08:48 IST(4/7/2013)

In a move aimed at convincing landlords and developers to adhere to fire safety norms, the civic body has initiated prosecution proceedings against the owners of a seven storey commercial building in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).

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It has already initiated action against the eight-storey IndusInd Bank building in Andheri (east)

On June 6, fires broke out in both these structures — the third floor of Balarama building in BKC, which houses offices and commercial units, was gutted in a fire caused by a short circuit while the fire in IndusInd Bank building killed four employees.

Officials pointed out that the fire safety violations in both the BKC building and IndusInd Bank building were similar — the fire extinguishers, detectors and the riser system were outdated and not in working condition and the terrace floors were blocked owing to which there was poor ventilation in the interiors.

Owners of both buildings had also not submitted the mandatory bi-annual fire safety audit reports to the fire brigade.

“There were no injuries in the fire at Balarama building, but that does not mean that the building is fire-safe. We have sent relevant information to the BMC’s law department to prepare cases and initiate prosecution against owners of both buildings,” said Harish Shetty assistant divisional fire officer.

A show-cause notice was sent by the fire brigade to the chairman, secretary and treasurer of Balarama society and a notice was served to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority as it’s the land-owning authority. Two notices were also sent to the managing director and other top officials of IndusInd Bank.

“The law officers will start necessary procedures and begin prosecution proceedings,” Shetty said.

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