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Kamala Mills fire: Mumbai civic body to ensure illegal extensions don’t return after demolitions 

Civic chief Ajoy Mehta has set inspection targets for 24 ward officers and seven zonal deputy municipal commissioners

mumbai Updated: Jan 23, 2018 10:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Kamala Mills,Kamala Mills fire
Civic chief Ajoy Mehta on Monday set inspection targets for 24 ward officers and the seven zonal deputy municipal commissioners in charge of the wards.(FILE)

The crackdown on illegal structures in Mumbai, which started after the Kamala Mills blaze, is all set to get more stringent.

Civic chief Ajoy Mehta on Monday set inspection targets for 24 ward officers and the seven zonal deputy municipal commissioners in charge of the wards.

According to Mehta’s orders, the ward officers will have to inspect at least 5% of the spots from where the illegal structures were demolished, while the deputy municipal commissioners will have to survey at least 1% of them every month.

The order comes after it was noticed that the demolished illegal structures are reconstructed, in the absence of follow-ups from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The probe report on the Kamala Mills fire, too, highlighted negligence of civic officials and blatant violation of rules by restaurant and mill owners.

The officials have also been asked to take note of complaints of incomplete or selective demolition work received on their anti-encroachment website. The ward officers and deputy municipal commissioners will have to act against junior officers, if they fail to perform their duty.

This is in addition to the recommendations submitted by Mehta to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis last week, which make visit by civic officials compulsory within a month of issuing a licence to a hotel or restaurant owner. Strengthening the civic inspection process, a completion certificate, specifying the rules have been complied with, will be made compulsory for all miscellaneous proposals submitted. The BMC will now review all such proposals for the past three years, and all such proposals will be reviewed if not complied within stipulated time.

Meanwhile, after inspecting 169 theatres, malls, basements and godowns in the past few days, 14 were made to down shutters for not being fire-compliant. The BMC has also demolished illegal extensions made to nine of these. The food court in a mall in Ghatkopar, which was sealed, has been reopened, said a civic official.

The BMC has categorised commercial buildings on the basis of footfall and risk level, and has planned to have a rigorous licensing and screening process for places with higher footfall like theatres, malls and markets.

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 10:03 IST