Kamala Mills fire probe: Enquiry committee calls on BMC officials to explain primary discrepancies
The committee has also called the owners of the restaurants (for explanation) and other parties who have filed PILs in the case to submit their suggestionsmumbai Updated: Jun 18, 2018 01:05 IST
An inquiry committee set up by the Bombay high court into the Kamala Mills fire case has asked officials of three civic departments to appear before it after it has found irregularities in several approvals given to the two restaurants — Mojo’s Bistro and 1Above.
The committee has called the owners of the restaurants (for explanation) and other parties who have filed PILs in the case to submit their suggestions.
It has raised doubts over no-objection certificates (NOCs) given to the restaurants by the fire brigade, health and building proposals departments between November 2016 and December 2017. The panel arrived at this conclusion based on on-record material.
The committee has also asked the Briahmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to explain whether the first NOC granted by the fire brigade to restaurant 1Above in November 2016 and a health NOC granted in December 2016 were issued before the building proposals department approved the premises to be used as a restaurant.
The committee has observed that the final NOC granted to 1Above by the building proposals department in February 2017 was ‘given hurriedly’, possibly under Ease of Doing Business parameters. It also noted that the fire brigade NOC given to Mojo’s Bistro in April 2017 was given without verifying NOCs given in November 2016 and February 2017. It contended that Mojo’s Bistro may not have had a health licence.
In April, the high court had set up a three-member panel, headed by retired judge AV Sawant, to probe the Kamala Mills fire that claimed the lives of 14 people on December 29 last year.
The panel is expected to submit its report by August.
The committee has asked the building proposals department to submit documents regarding approvals given for alterations on the third floor that housed the restaurants, and NOCs for use of open-to-air seating.
It has asked BMC which official was in charge of granting NOCs to the two restaurants; if the rules were violated; and if any action was taken against the official for the violation of the NOC clause.
Officials asked to attend the hearings are deputy municipal commissioner of the central purchase department, the chief fire officer, deputy municipal commissioner of the health department, the executive health officer, chief engineer of the Development Plan department, deputy chief engineer of the building proposals department, deputy municipal commissioner of Zone 2 under whose jurisdiction Kamala Mills falls, and assistant commissioner of the G-South ward.
The hearings will take place between July 10 and July 12.
First Published: Jun 18, 2018 00:34 IST