Day after Kurla eatery fire, BMC chief orders massive crackdown

  • Tanushree Venkatraman, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 18, 2015 00:21 IST
Police said those trapped in the Kurla restaurant fire kept banging on the windows for help. (Vijayanand Gupta/ HT )

A day after a massive fire killed eight people at Kurla’s Hotel City Kinara, the BMC has initiated a crackdown against Grade 2 and 3 hotels across the city. The move follows chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ directives to the civic body chief, Ajoy Mehta, to take strict action against those responsible for the mishap.

On Saturday, the chief minister tweeted, “Saddened by the kurla fire incident. Instructed BMC commissioner to take immediate review to avoid such incidents in future and also asked for strict action against the responsible.”

As part of the BMC’s guidelines, grades are assigned to all restaurants on the basis of a points system that scores them on factors like seating, hygiene and restrooms within the premises.

Read more: Fire at Kurla eatery kills 8; gas leak, short circuit may be cause

Mehta directed the civic teams to inspect a minimum of 10 Grade 2 and 3 restaurants every day. The teams will be headed by the ward official of the respective jurisdiction, along with officials from the fire brigade and the health department. The drive will begin on Monday.

According to the circular issued by the BMC, the team has been asked to inspect if the hotels have the requisite no-objection certificate (NOC) from the fire brigade.

The team is also expected to inspect if the designated area is being utilised according to the approved plans and if there are any alterations in the structure post-approvals — something which is significant when it comes to rescue operations in case of a fire or an explosion.

On Friday, the fire was allegedly caused by a short-circuit on the first floor of the ground-plus-one structure. The BMC, on Saturday, revoked the hotel’s licence and also registered an FIR with the Kurla police station. Mehta has also instructed the deputy municipal commissioner of zone 6 to conduct an inquiry and submit a report within 15 days.

The commissioner held an hour-long meeting with senior civic officials and fire officials at the BMC headquarters on Friday.

A senior official from the commissioner’s office said, “The investigating civic teams are expected to issue compliance notices to the restaurants flouting the norms and follow-up with the cases continuously. In case of the hotels’ non-compliance, their water and electric supply will be disconnected.”

Following a massive fire at the Kenilworth Mall in Bandra earlier in July, the civic chief had ordered a massive crackdown on malls and multiplexes across the wards in a similar manner.

As of October first week, the civic body has demolished 74 shops in Linking Corner Mall and Crystal Shopper’s Paradise Mall.

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