‘Ensure better fire safety, waste management at the Bandra Fair’: Bandra residents
Bandra residents have demanded improved fire safety, emergency services and solid waste management at the fair held annually at the Mount Mary Basilica. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) last week rolled out the final policy for the Bandra Fair 2019. This year, the event will be held from September 8 to 15.
In a five-point letter written by the Area Locality Management (ALM) of St John Baptist Road (where the steps of Mt Mary Basilica descend) for the Bandra Fair, residents have demanded adhering to a strict ban on the use of plastic and an increase in number of dry and wet waste collection centres for garbage generated from the stalls.
Lillian Pais, a member of the ALM, and resident of St John Baptist Road, said, “Every year, the waste is piled up at Veermata Jijabai Udyan near Rebello Road. We have requested for a collection van or centre inside the park, from where the garbage can be lifted. The BMC has agreed to implement this measure.”
ALM members have also demanded fire engines and ambulance services should be on standby at a location with easy access to the main entry and exit points to the Basilica. In the past they were parked inside Veermata Jijabai Udyan. The BMC has agreed to this suggestion as well. In order to check unauthorised stalls at the fair, the ALM has also demanded that the BMC ban unregistered stalls in private premises. “These stalls do not follow the fire safety rules and are a problem. In principle, the BMC has agreed to this demand and included it in their fair policy for this year. However, on ground, it needs to change. If the BMC makes St John Baptist Road a one-way street, it will be able to curb these illegalities. The fire engine will also have easier access to the church in case of a fire,” said Pais.
As per the BMC’s 63-point fair policy for this year, the event will have a total of 280 authorised stalls. The BMC will also have two fire engines on standby. The ward will check all fire hydrants in the vicinity of the fair to make sure they are in working condition. A senior civic official of H West ward, under whose jurisdiction the area falls, said, “The policy is extensive and covers all points. Demands of the residents will be kept in mind from the safety point of view.”