After fire, BMC chief wants 3 months to check violations in Kamala Mills compound
The two restaurants that caught fire Mojo’s Bistro and 1Above were located inside Kamala Mills Compound in central Mumbai.mumbai Updated: Jan 18, 2018 23:42 IST
Civic chief Ajoy Mehta, in his probe report on the Kamala Mills fire tragedy that killed 14, has asked for three months to verify floor space index (FSI) violations, alterations /additions to structures without approvals and inspect various activities/uses in the compound.
The two restaurants that caught fire Mojo’s Bistro and 1Above were located inside Kamala Mills Compound in central Mumbai.
According to the state government’s Information Technology policy, Kamala Mills Ltd has received an incentive FSI of 1.33 in addition to the FSI permissible in the area. This incentive is only given if the entire built-up area is used for IT and related purposes, with 20% incentive area for commercial use.
The report states: “There is possibility that the Kamala mills have used commercial areas beyond permissible limits.”
Mehta has requested a joint inspection by the civic body and Maharashtra government to thoroughly verify this in the next three months. The civic chief has ordered departmental inquiries against 10 officials from the building proposal department, G/S ward office and fire brigade; two assistant municipal commissioners -- Prashant Sapkale and Bhagyashree Kapse; in addition to inquiry against five civic officials suspended immediately after the December 29 fire.
Shifting the onus from the authority to approval-seekers, the report highlights the need for legally mandated formats, where business premises are required to put out information relating to safety measures in public domain.
Mehta, in the report, has asked for laws to be introduced for punishing the non- compliant and also those who actively support it overtly or covertly.
To promote self-compliance of fire safety norms, the report suggests trade organisations such as association of hoteliers should form independent audit wings and de-recognise member restaurants if they fail to comply with fire safety rules. Other measures include appointment of fire safety officer from restaurant employees and a separate compliance wing under the Mumbai Fire Brigade.