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Kamala Mills fire: BMC chief to blame for illegal alterations, says Congress

Sanjay Nirupam, Congress’ city chief, alleged the civic body has allowed restaurants like 1Above and Mojo Bistro to extend structures illegally over the last few years

mumbai Updated: Jan 08, 2018 21:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Kamala Mills fire,Kalbadevi
Sanjay Nirupam, Congress’ city chief, alleged the civic body has allowed restaurants like 1Above and Mojo Bistro to extend structures illegally over the last few years.(FILE)

In view of the Kamala Mills fire that killed 14, Congress leaders on Monday demanded an inquiry into the construction permissions given by the civic body to several commercial establishments in the mills area.

Sanjay Nirupam, Congress’ city chief, alleged the civic body has allowed restaurants like 1Above and Mojo Bistro to extend structures illegally over the last few years. “At least 96 eateries have been running in the Kamala Mills in connivance with the municipal corporation. Civic chief Ajoy Mehta must be held responsible for allowing owners of these establishments to construct in the mills illegally,” Nirupam told reporters.

He alleged the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) allowed a recreational centre to build a shed, an elevated racing track and an eating area in Kamala and Victoria mills for a penalty of Rs468 for a sqm. The BMC recently faced flak for failing to take strict action against eateries flouting safety norms prior to the fire incident.

In response to the allegation, Mehta said, “I am following the Chief Minister’s orders for an investigation into the fire. I cannot comment on this allegation as we are working on the report.”

Nirupam also demanded that Mehta resign or be suspended, adding that a comprehensive inquiry into his involvement in the matter is necessary.

Gold units at Kalbadevi, Mumbadevi may be shifted

Gold units at Kalbadevi and Mumbadevi may get shifted in the days to come.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to look into the possibility of shifting these units within city limits. He also asked the civic body to check implementation of fire safety norms at the gold units and issue notices to them.

The directives were issued while hearing complaints from citizens on the occasion of Lokshahi Din (Democracy Day) at Mantralaya on Monday. Kalbadevi resident Harkishan Goradia has approached the chief minister complaining about ignorance of fire safety norms at the gold units situated at Kalbadevi and Mumbadevi.

According to Goradia, the owners of these units use furnace for making gold ornaments, but don’t follow fire safety norms, making the place extremely dangerous for the residents. Moreover, use of furnace also results in pollution.

Considering this, Fadnavis ordered to issue notices to these gold units within next three months. He also asked BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta to hold a meeting of all people concerned and lookin to possibilities of shifting these units within Mumbai, said a senior official from the chief minister’s office.

Three fire officers were killed in a major fire at the four-storey Gokul Niwas building in Kalbadevi on May 9, 2015.

First Published: Jan 08, 2018 21:57 IST