Mumbai shop fire: Verify licences Sakinaka shop owner had procured, police tell civic body
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Mumbai shop fire: Verify licences Sakinaka shop owner had procured, police tell civic body

Officials have written to various BMC departments for a report detailing what licences the Sakinaka shop owner had

mumbai Updated: Dec 21, 2017 10:43 IST
Farhan Shaikh
Farhan Shaikh
Hindustan Times
Mumbai shop fire,Fire safety,BMC
The BMC has seized 5,181 illegal cylinders this year.(HT FILE)

The police investigating the culpable homicide case involving the death of 12 workers in a fire at a farsan shop in Sakinaka, have written to various departments of the BMC to verify what licenses had the owner procured before setting up the shop. Ramesh Bhanushali, the owner of the shop, has been remanded in police custody till Saturday.

Bhanushali had employed 19 workers to make snacks and package them at the shop, the police found.The fire claimed the lives of 12 workers who were sleeping in the same shop early on Monday.

Officials have now written to the construction department, building establishment department and the licensing issuance departments of the BMC seeking a report detailing what licenses did Bhanushali procure.“The reports will help us understand the legality of the shop. We are also awaiting the report from the fire brigade which will provide the exact cause of fire,” said an officer from Sakinaka police station.

Bhanushali’s shop came up in Sakinaka around four years ago. Initially, the shop was located in Mahape in Navi Mumbai.

The police have recorded the statements of seven eyewitnesses, who survived the Monday morning tragedy. In their statements, the surviving workers have told the police that they woke up after the fire had broken out. A few of them first tried to douse the fire but they failed. When the fire started to spread out, seven of them ran out to save their lives.“The other 12 ran inside trying to shield themselves from the fire. They may not have found a way out and got left behind. It was only when the fire engulfed the establishment that the survivors realised their co-workers are stuck inside,” added the officer.

BMC seized 5,000 cylinders this year

A day after the Mumbai civic body ordered an inspection of small-scale industries across the city, the data from a two-year-old crackdown revealed that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) seized 5,181 illegal cylinders from hotels/restaurants in the city in 2017. The city-wise crackdown was ordered in 2015, after a massive fire in an eatery in Kurla killed eight people.

According to the circular issued in 2015, the team was asked to inspect if the hotels have the requisite no-objection certificate from the fire brigade. The team was also expected to inspect if the designated area is being utilised according to the approved plans and if there are any alterations in the structure post-approvals — something which is significant when it comes to rescue operations. The civic body had then inspected more than 1,200 eateries including actions such as demolition of illegal extensions and seizure of cylinders. BMC is now looking at guidelines to include small scale units.

First Published: Dec 21, 2017 10:43 IST