Kamala Mills fire: Fire brigade tells BMC to verify licenses of building that housed restaurants
The Mumbai building houses several restaurants and pubs, which are also likely to face aUpdated: Jan 06, 2018 23:52 IST
After an investigation to the Kamala Mills fire found serious violation safety norms, such as blocked entrances, encroached fire exits and large stocks of combustible material, the Mumbai fire brigade has suggested that the civic body verify the licences of Trade House building, where restaurants Mojo Bistro and 1Above were situated.
The building houses several restaurants and pubs, which are also likely to face action. An online search reveals that many of these restaurants have listen open rooftop and outdoor seating as their USP. According to civic officials, none of the city’s restaurants have permission to operate on a rooftop.
Under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention & Life safety measures Act 2006, the building’s water and electric supply was disconnected.
The fire brigade has also asked the local ward office to verify whether any restaurant plans were approved. It has so directed that officers verify the authenticity of the rooftop shed over the terrace, along with alterations or additions. It recommends that these be demolished immediately if found to be illegal.
The suggestion comes in wake of revelations that neither 1Above nor Mojo Bistro had permission to run hookah or liquor bars in their premises. The fire brigade found 14 unauthorised activities and structures in the building, which included ‘fire tricks’ performed by bar tenders, charged CO2 gas cylinders on the terrace, alterations on the third floor where restaurants were situated, encroachment on fire escape balconies, which blocked escape routes and beer kegs stored in passages.
The report will be a major part of the internal investigation ordered by Mehta against the five suspended engineers and the transferred assistant municipal commissioner. As HT had first reported, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will make its ‘fire norms’ stricter and wider in scope, with guidelines for the use of fire-retardant material for furniture — depending on the type of commercial establishment such as theatres, pubs, restaurants and shops. They will also specify the type of material to be used to decorate interiors. The report lists combustible decorative materials as one of the major reasons behind the spread of the fire.
The BMC, which began its drive against illegal restaurants, has given restaurants time until next week to follow fire safety norms or face the cancellation of their licenses.