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Kamala Mills blaze: Fire officers threaten to resign en masse over arrest of colleague

Claiming the fire officials are being blamed for no reason, officials plan to meet civic chief Ajoy Mehta.

mumbai Updated: Jan 22, 2018 22:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Kamala Mills,Kamala Mills fire
Claiming the fire officials are being blamed for no reason, officials plan to meet civic chief Ajoy Mehta.(FILE)

Protesting against the arrest of fire officer Rajendra Patil in connection with the Kamala Mills fire case, more than 100 officers of the Mumbai Fire Brigade have threatened to submit mass resignation to the civic administration.

Claiming the fire officials are being blamed for no reason, officials plan to meet civic chief Ajoy Mehta.

Prakash Devidas, president of the Fire Brigade Officers’ Association, said, “The officer has been made a scapegoat. There is no proper mechanism to inspect the illegalities as any department doesn’t follow-up on the wrongdoings. As Patil signed the documents certifying the two restaurants, he is being blamed. A fire official is overloaded with the work and is not even offered assistance as he has to do all the clerical work too.”

The inquiry report prepared by Mehta looked into the roles of fire officials, unlike the report made by fire brigade officials which blamed the managements of two restaurants for negligence.

According to the fire report, Patil had certified the restaurants, 1 Above and Mojo’s Bistro, which stated they complied with fire safety norms just a week before the major fire broke out. The report was submitted to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Apparently, Patil, in his inspection report on December 23, stated the terrace was clear and there was no obstruction and attached photographs to back this claim. However, it was realised that highly-combustible material used by the restaurants to cover the terrace had caused the fire to spread.

Devidas said, “We are going to meet the civic chief seeking relief for fire officials. If the administration fails to find a solution to it, officials of various ranks such as fire station officer, assistant fire officer and deputy fire officers will submit their resignation.”

First Published: Jan 22, 2018 22:10 IST