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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Mumbai civic body tightens norms for eatery owners seeking fire NOCs

All documents will have to be uploaded on BMC portals to ensure transparency

mumbai Updated: Jan 29, 2018 00:47 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
Sanjana Bhalerao
Hindustan Times
The Kamala Mills fire has led the BMC to tighten the norms for licenses.
The Kamala Mills fire has led the BMC to tighten the norms for licenses. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Learning its lessons after the Kamala Mills fire, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has made it mandatory for applicants to upload the picture of restaurant premises, along with the dates of fire no-objection certificates (NOCs).

The 1Above restaurant owners, arrested for the Kamala Mills inferno, allegedly submitted old photographs to obtain a fire NOC. A fire officer was arrested on neglecting fire safety violations. As many as 14 people were killed and 55 others were injured in the fire which started from Mojo’s Bistro and spread to 1Above on December 29.

All documents will have to be uploaded on BMC portals to ensure transparency. Municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta last week proposed new rules for issuing of hotel licences. The Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1884 will be amended to include the rules, informed a senior civic official.

The new process defines responsibility of all civic officers — assistant municipal commissioners, assistant engineers, health department staff and fire brigade officers — in granting licences and NOCs. The new hotel licensing process makes it difficult for officers to pass the buck as it defines each officer’s responsibility. Assistant engineers are required to check premises and submit a report to a health officer within 10 days. If the engineer fails to adhere to the deadline, the ward officer can issue a showcause notice followed by a departmental inquiry.

“If the premises are found non-fire compliant during inspection by the compliance cell, licence will stand revoked. For licence renewal, existing practice shall be followed. However, information about all such renewed licences have to be displayed on the portal,” read the rules. HT had reported earlier this month about Mehta’s proposal to revamp the hotel licensing process.

As opposed to earlier rules, following the incident and blatant disregard for the procedure, hoteliers will not be able to procure next level of NOC, until the first one is complied with.

“The health department staff will inspect the premises from health and hygiene point of view and report whether all requirements have been met with. The proposal will then be processed and after approval of the assistant commissioner concerned, the fees will be generated. After payment of necessary fees by the applicant, licence will be generated in the system with all the disclaimers and footer, stating that this license does not in any manner give authenticity to the structure.”

The rules also stresses on the random inspection by the chief fire officer and the report of which will have to be mandatorily on the MCGM portal. It will be IT department’s responsibility to ensure whether all the requirements of health, fire official department are uploaded on the portal.

First Published: Jan 29, 2018 00:47 IST

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