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Home / Cities / Malls misusing open areas come under TMC lens

Malls misusing open areas come under TMC lens

cities Updated: Jan 21, 2020 00:51 IST

All malls and banquet halls in Thane have come under the scanner after the general body of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) revealed that most commercial spaces are violating fire-safety norms.

On Monday, the general body claimed that the malls have set up shops in lobbies, walkways and open spaces, violating the fire-safety norm. Additional municipal commissioner Sameer Unhale has asked the anti-encroachment department to conduct a survey of malls and check for such illegal structures which are on public passage.

BJP corporator Mrinal Pendse asked the tax department if tax was levied on the small shops and stalls set up in the areas which were supposed to be open spaces as per the plan submitted by the malls during approval. Property tax officer Omprakash Divte said tax was imposed on such structures. Pendse and other corporators said these structures should not be allowed in the first place.

Pendse said, “There are many small shops set up in malls, blocking movement of visitors.In case of a major fire, there will not be enough space for people to move. TMC should not merely impose fine but ensure they are not there in the first place.” She was seconded by Thane mayor Naresh Mhaske. “The administration should conduct a survey of these malls and take action in 15 days,” he said. Unhale directed the anti-encroachment department to take action against errant malls in the next 15 days. “If the shops are violating fire-safety norms, they should be removed and action should be taken against the malls,” he said.

Pendse said most banquet halls have one entry point instead of two entry and exit points. The mayor has asked TMC to include banquets hall in the survey.