It’s the time to party, but do hotels in Thane have nod?

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Published on Dec 29, 2019 01:19 AM IST
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ByAnkita G Menon, Thane

With the festive season, malls and eateries have been seeing an increase in customers.

Thane Municipal Corporation’s fire department said that none of the hotels have applied for a no-objection certificate for New Year’s Eve.

Shashikant Kale, chief fire officer, Thane, said applying for a no-objection certificate (NOC) is mandatory. “None of the hotels has applied for NOC for December 31.”

With none of the hotels in the city applying for NOC, the fire department will take a review meeting on Monday. However, hoteliers said they have taken an NOC and there is no specific rule for December 31.

Ratnakar Shetty, president of Hotel Owners Association, Thane, said, “Most hotels in the city have applied for a no-objection certificate. However, there is no mention for a separate NOC for New Year’s Eve. Unlike before, hardly any hotel is open till wee hours of morning. New Year celebrations end by 1.30 am. Hotels hosting special parties already have permission.”

Thane has around 350 hotels and 15 pubs.

The fire department said many hotels do not have other permissions in place.

“Apart from the fire-safety NOC, many hotels also lack other permissions including liquor serving permit, certificate from Food and Drug Authority (FDA) and licence and change of user from town planning department,” said an official, who did not wish to be named.

Although most restaurants are equipped with smoke detectors or fire-fighting systems, officials said they are not sure if the equipment is working.

“However, in case of a fire, we are well-equipped and prepared to handle the situation. The 12 fire stations in the city are ready to deal with any situation. We will review the situation before deciding on the course of action,” said the official.

The need to make malls, eateries and other public places fire-safe was highlighted after a major fire in a restaurant at Kamala Mills in Mumbai on December 29, 2017, killing 14 people. TMC’s fire department had sent notices to 458 hotels, pubs and bars in the city to apply for a fire NOC and follow fire-safety rules.

Ashok Burpulle, deputy municipal commissioner, anti-encroachment, said, “If the fire department lists establishments flouting fire-safety rules, we will go ahead and demolish them.”

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had protested against the lounges and hookah bars in Thane.

Swapnil Mahindrakar, from the MNS, said, “Although the court has given permission to hookah parlours in the city, it has specified that these should be herbal hookah parlours. It is the responsibility of the civic authorities to ensure no illegal bars or hookah parlours are set up in the city.”

Sanjeev Dutta, an RTI activist, had filed a Right to Information (RTI) on November 22 to the fire department, asking for details about fire audit in malls. But, he didn’t get the details.

“Malls have the most number of hotels, including food court, where people frequent in huge numbers, especially during festivals or holidays. But, in response on December 19, the municipal corporation asked me to specify the mall and give reasons how the details will benefit the society,” said Dutta.

“All I wanted to know was if customers are safe in malls in Thane,” he added.

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