23% FSI and fire-safety violations at Kamala Mills, finds civic bodyUpdated: Feb 13, 2020 00:12 IST
More than two years after a fire at the Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel killed 14 people, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) inspection report of the premises revealed 23.24% floor space index (FSI) violations, 11.93% of which pertained to fire-safety norms.
The report, which Hindustan Times has a copy of, was submitted to municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi last week and was finalised on Tuesday.
“There was a blatant violation of fire-fighting norms and areas of escape during a fire, closure of escape routes, endangering lives of hundreds of occupants working in the premises,” stated the report.
According to the report, there were internal additions and alterations to the original approved plans of buildings inside the compound, such as full-height cabins and lightweight partitions; change in positions of toilets and pantries; enclosed duct areas that are used for storage; enclosed balconies and encroached terrace spaces.
Majority of the tenants at Kamala Mills, including restaurants and office spaces, had misused FSI and also violated fire safety norms, the report further stated.
Pardeshi told HT on Tuesday, “I have read the report and its recommendations. It pointed out many FSI and fire-safety violations at Kamala Mills compound.”
Kamala Mills is spread across 9.4 acres in the heart of Mumbai’s commercial hub of Lower Parel and it has among the highest concentration of eateries, pubs in the city.
On December 29, 2017, a major blaze at two pubs, Mojo Bistro and 1Above, inside Kamala Mills, killed 14 people. Among recommendations made by then municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta to the chief minister to prevent such incidents from occurring again, was an inspection of Kamala Mills for misuse of FSI and violations of the state’s information technology (IT) policy.
The report recommended revoking the fire no-objection certificate immediately, unless the structure is restored as per the approved plans, and the formation of a specialised mechanism under the chief fire officer (CFO) to look into how such incidents can be prevented at mill compounds.
The report has also recommended re-inspection of all establishments at the compound by the CFO. Violators of fire safety will be booked under the Mahrashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006.
The report has also recommended heavy penalty for any FSI violations, and then see if regularisation is possible under the Development Control and Promotion Regulation (DCPR) 2034. Where FSI violations cannot be regularised, violators will be booked under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) act. It has also suggested an electric audit of the building to prevent fires arising from short circuits.