One day one of its crackdown on eateries across the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) found major irregularities in well-known restaurants, including Bhagat Tarachand at Mumbadevi, Tardeo’s famous Sardar Pav Bhaji and Bonobo and KFC in Bandra. The drive began on Monday with inspections of grade-2 and grade-3 restaurants. In two weeks, the BMC will expand its drive to include grade-1 restaurants, including some of the city’s best-known restaurants, such as Gaylords, Copper Chimney, Status and Samrat, among others, civic officials confirmed.
Under BMC guidelines, all restaurants are assigned grades on the basis of a points system, which scores them on factors such as seating, hygiene and restrooms. According to senior civic officials, illegal alterations were made to the Bhagat Tarachand outlet at Mumbadevi, while Sardar Pav Bhaji was illegally using the footpath for cooking. Officials demolished the extensions at the former and seized materials from the latter.
In Bonobo, BMC officials found an unauthorised toilet block and certain irregularities in the kitchen. At KFC, they demolished a terrace shed. The civic body also took action against a Cafe Coffee Day outlet at Ghatkopar for illegal use of open space.
“We have asked officials to issue a memo on the spot. Following this, the restaurants will be issued notices. We will also file police cases and prosecute them. We are planning to undertake such drives regularly,” said a senior civic official from the health department, who did not wish to be named.
On Friday, a huge fire killed eight people seated on the first floor of Hotel City Kinara at Kurla. The hotel has been under the BMC’s scanner for major irregularities, including illegal storage of combustible materials, loose wiring and lack of firefighting equipment. The BMC on Monday also sealed nine restaurants around Kinara for not adhering to fire safety rules.
As a part of its drive, the civic body is also examining the role of gas companies that supply LPG to restaurants. Though unconfirmed, fire officials said that a gas leak could have worsened the intensity of the fire at Kurla, which was sparked by a short-circuit. The BMC on Monday also wrote to the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), asking if they had conducted any checks at the hotel. “As per the Gas Cylinder Act, 2004, suppliers are also supposed to conduct routine checks in their respective areas,” an official said.
Niranjan Shetty, chairman of the restaurants association AAHAR, said, “We have appealed to all restaurants to co-operate with the BMC. We will extend full support as long as there is no harassment.”