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Mumbai shop fire: Civic body to crack whip on small-scale units  

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will concentrate on units in slums and congested alleys, where norms for fire safety and basic ventilation are neglected.

mumbai Updated: Dec 20, 2017 17:17 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
Sanjana Bhalerao
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Shop Fire,Sakinaka Fire
A police officer inspects the site at Sakinaka in Mumbai on Monday. (Shashi S Kashyap/HT)

A day after a major fire broke out at an illegal snack-making unit at Sakinaka in Andheri (East), which killed 12 workers and injured one, the Mumbai civic body decided to start inspecting shops that double up as small-scale industries. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will concentrate on units in slums and congested alleys, where norms for fire safety and basic ventilation are neglected.

In addition, to the crackdown, deputy municipal commissioner zone 5, Bharat Marathe, has asked the local ward office (Kurla) to survey the entire Khairani Road in Sakinaka where the incident took place for such units. “There are many small-scale units which are thriving in congested alleys and on Khairani Road. I have asked ward officer to survey all such properties and submit a report at earliest.”

Marathe has also asked for a report from the sanitary inspector, whose job included inspecting such units and penalizing them. Bhanu Farsan, the shop which caught fire and minutes later collapsed, stored large quantity of eatables, three large diesel stoves and LPG gas cylinders. This led to massive amounts of smoke, intense heat and spread of fire in the illegal loft where 12 workers were stuck. This shop which was functional for over one year had not taken any permission from the civic body.

Ajit Kumar Ambi, assistant municipal commissioner, had said, “The civic body had not received an application requesting permission to operate a shop or small-scale factory here.”

After the Kinara tragedy in 2015, which had killed eight youngsters, the civic body had found a leak and accumulation of LPG from defective main valve, which came in contact with unknown ignition source and led to a disastrous fire. After that, the BMC had undertaken massive drives across the city for seizure of illegal gas cylinders and made it mandatory for hotels to get a fire complaint certificate. However, in the drive, shops in slums, which also worked as manufacturing units were left out. BMC is now looking into the existing guidelines to empower officials to directly enter such snacks shop for inspection. Orders for that are expected today.

First Published: Dec 20, 2017 17:17 IST