The new and improved Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act that was bestowed with more teeth to tackle buildings that flout safety norms has taken its first bite.
A commercial centre in Chembur (west) is the first building in Mumbai to be served a notice under the provisions of this Act.
Destination, the commercial establishment in Chembur that houses a number of restaurants has been served with a notice by the Fire Department because the officials have found that the building flouts a number of rules.
“Firstly, it is illegal to store liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders in basements and around 41 cylinders were found in Destination’s basement,” said chief fire officer Uday Tatkare.
He added, “In addition, there are numerous ventilation outlets blocked in the building and it lacks several integral components in terms of fire-fighting equipment and facilities.”
Just like in the case of Goyal shopping centre in Borivli that had caught fire in February killing one fire officer.
There are 55 other such buildings in the pipeline for inspection by the fire department.
“These 55 were randomly selected by us among the different commercial centres, shopping complexes and malls in the city that have basements,” said Tatkare.
“It is against the law to keep LPG cylinders in basements and since we lost one of our officers in a situation that could have been caused by these cylinders in the basement, we are now checking basements far more stringently,” a senior fire officer added.
According to the new law, after receiving two notices from the fire department to put the fire apparatus in place, if the owner fails the fire brigade can seize the premise and disconnect essentials like water and electricity connections.
On Friday five shops located in the basement of Destination were demolished, as the civic ward office declared them illegal.
Meanwhile, in the investigation of the cause of fire for the Goyal shopping center it has been revealed that the commercial center didn’t have a Non Objection certificate from the Fire Department when it was constructed in 1981.