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Recipe for new malls: No cooking on premises

Recommendations made by an expert committee on safety measures will not make existing malls any safer.

india Updated: Jul 11, 2009 00:51 IST
Bhavika Jain

Recommendations made by an expert committee on safety measures will not make existing malls any safer.

While new malls and multiplexes in the city will have to abide by recommendations of an expert committee, existing and under-construction ones will not have to follow them, the civic body said on Friday.

One of the recommendations made by the committee is that cooking should be prohibited inside malls and multiplexes.

Existing and under-construction malls and multiplexes, however, will not have to abide by the recommendations, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.

“All the new proposals will have to follow these recommendations, but the existing ones will not be under its purview,” said Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak.

The expert committee, chaired by N.V. Merani, retired principal secretary, Public Works Department, was formed in August last year following a fire at Infinity mall in Andheri.

“The entire purpose of surveying malls and chalking out recommendations is defeated,” said a committee member on condition of anonymity.

The committee surveyed 33 malls that came up in the last four years before submitting its recommendations to the BMC. Of these, 18 are functional and 15 are under-construction.

Recently, a fire broke out at a restaurant on the top floor of the newly inaugurated K-Star mall in Chembur.

“We will probe the cause of the fire, but they (mall authorities) cannot be penalised for cooking in a mall,” said Phatak.

“The committee was formed to survey and better security systems in city multiplexes and so existing multiplexes must also be included,” said Nandini Akhil, a Chembur resident who was at K-Star mall when the fire broke out.