The Maharashtra government is mooting a Public Safety Act that makes it mandatory for shops, establishments, malls and event organisers to set up their own safety mechanism to manage the crowd gathering on the premises. If the parties concerned fail to do so, they will have to pay a penalty or even face cancellation of licences.
The proposal of the Act was moved by the home department in August this year for the approval of the state Cabinet. Its fate now lies in the hands of the newly-formed BJP government.
The Act will be applicable to all establishments with a capacity to accommodate at least 100 people. According to the proposal, the establishments will have to install their own safety measures, including CCTV cameras.
Mooted on the lines of the Public Safety (Measures) Enforcement Act 2013, which was enacted by Andhra Pradesh last year, the legislation will allow authorities to seal the premises if its management failed to comply with the norms in two months of being given notice.
Setting up the CCTV network, preserving the footage for 90 days and maintaining it will be the management’s responsibility.
The proposal stated, “The establishment would be duty bound to submit the report of fitness of the CCTV network every three months. The organisations should install the safety mechanism within the six months the legislation comes into effect. The police officer empowered with the inspection of the mechanism would give two weeks to comply with the flaws in the system by serving show-cause notice to the organisation.”
If the establishment fails to maintain the safety mechanism, an officer of the rank of assistant commissioner of police will slap a penalty of Rs10,000 for the first month and Rs25,000 for the second month. On completion of two months of the show-cause notice, the officer will be empowered to seal the premises temporarily.
However, the religious places have been exempted from the provision of sealing the premises. The home department suggested an ordinance to bring the legislation into effect immediately.