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1,479 eateries, malls, multiplexes in Mumbai found flouting fire-safety norms

“2017 witnessed 4,790 fires across Mumbai, averaging around 13 fires a day. These incidents claimed 30 lives, and yet, several establishments continue to ignore the issue of fire safety,” said a senior fire brigade official.

mumbai Updated: Aug 25, 2018 10:38 IST
Eeshanpriya M S
Eeshanpriya M S
Hindustan Times
fire-safety,fire-safety norms,Kamala Mills
Massive fire at restaurant in Kamala Mill Compound, Lower Parel in Mumbai on December 29, 2017. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

The blaze at two upscale eateries in Kamala Mills claimed 14 lives last December, but several commercial establishments across Mumbai are yet to learn their lesson, as they continue to ignore fire-safety norms and put people’s lives at risk.

Data, which HT obtained from the Mumbai fire department, revealed that 1,479, or 45 per cent, of the restaurants, malls, theatres and basements/godowns inspected for fire-safety norms between January and July were found to be unsafe.The fire brigade inspected 3,264 establishments in all after the Kamala Mills tragedy.

“Non-compliance of fire-safety norms is a hazard to lives. It’s appalling how many establishments are unsafe in case of a fire,” said P Rahangdale, chief fire officer.

While 94 per cent (1,395) of the ‘unsafe’ 1,479 establishments are eateries, 17 were theatres, 8 were malls and the remaining 59 were basements or godowns. All these establishments were served notices for being unsafe, after which only 489, 33 per cent of those found unsafe, complied with the norms. As part of the crackdown, the fire brigade even demolished 380 eateries and shut down 36 others in popular nightspots of Bandra and Lower Parel.

“2017 witnessed 4,790 fires across Mumbai, averaging around 13 fires a day. These incidents claimed 30 lives, and yet, several establishments continue to ignore the issue of fire safety,” said a senior fire brigade official, who did not wish to be named, as he is not authorised to speak to media. “After we issue notices, only half of them comply, while the others are still unsafe.”

The fire brigade has now begun follow-up inspections to ensure that establishments continue to follow norms. “We suspect more establishments will make it to the list of those that are violating fire-safety rules,” said the officer.

Gurbaxish Singh, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association - Western India (HRAWI), said it is a matter of concern that eateries continue to flout fire-safety norms. “It must be considered as a necessity by businesses, otherwise patrons are going to walk away,” said Singh, adding that one of the reasons why restaurants flout rules is “lack of awareness”.

First Published: Aug 25, 2018 09:44 IST