The recent fire at Borivli’s Goyal Shopping Centre has prompted the municipal corporation to instruct its ward officers to inspect malls and multiplexes in their jurisdiction and check for violations of Development Control Rules (DCR).
“The survey has been commissioned to find out that whether these commercial structures have flouted DCR norms with respect to fire safety,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner, Manisha Mhaiskar.
All those caught with violations will be prosecuted or penalised, Mhaiskar added.
Investigation into the Borivli fire, which claimed the life of fireman Pradeep Zagade, revealed that the building’s basement had violated several DCR rules.
A senior fire brigade official requesting anonymity said basements should be used as public area sparingly because the efficiency of the fire brigade to fight underground fires is very low.
“There were many violations in the basement of the shopping complex. A small space should be kept open for emergency situations. That was completely neglected,” said a fire brigade official who was at the spot.
The shopping centre was more than 25 years old and housed more than 210 shops, godowns and restaurants. Even the mandatory sprinklers were missing. Ventilation space was also given up to accommodate smaller shops and godowns.
Some civic officials, however, complained that every time a fire occurs an inquiry is commissioned but nothing is done to prevent such incidents. “The Merani committee report that was prepared after the fire at Retiwala Industrial Estate in which 15 people were killed is yet to see the light of day,” said Congress corporator, Sameer Desai. The report had made several recommendations on fire safety.
The BMC will pay Rs 16 lakh to Zagade’s family. His paralytic wife has been offered a job with the BMC and the family promised a house.