Mumbai

2,486 buildings inspected for fire safety

With year-end nearing, BMC continues crackdown on those who flout norms

Between January and December 2019, the Mumbai Fire Brigade has inspected 2,486 buildings, hotels and establishments, of which 208 were given notices for anomalies related to fire safety compliance.

In the last four years, it has prosecuted 59 establishments and the cases are ongoing in local court. Besides this, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) wards also undertake action against establishments when it comes to fire safety.

After the Kamala Mills fire on December 29, 2017, the civic body and fire brigade had taken a slew of measures to ensure fire safety in establishments. It had undertaken inspections of thousands of establishments through the removal of encroachment department, ward offices and fire officials.

Eventually, a compliance cell was formed in each ward to undertake such routine inspections and also take action. Besides, the BMC made it compulsory for each establishment to secure a fire brigade compliance certificate instead of just a no-objection certificate to operate.

Leader of opposition in the civic body Ravi Raja had recently slammed the civic administration in a standing committee meeting, stating that fire norms were still being flouted in the city. He also alleged that a hotel at Gateway of India was operating illegally.

Based on these allegations, chief fire officer P.S. Rahangdale issued a statement last week, saying, “The concerned ward staff has already prosecuted the hotel at Gateway of India and there is a stay on any action by the High Court.”

The fire brigade said the joint action cell under every assistant municipal commissioner has inspected 10,800 hotels this year, of which action was taken against 6,282. It seized 9,921 illegal gas cylinders during the crackdown. Between 2015 and 2019, the fire brigade has prosecuted 59 owners for not complying with notices under Fire Act, 2006.

Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani, who is in charge of the fire brigade, has directed officials to undertake thorough inspections of all establishments now.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 12:54:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/2486-buildings-inspected-for-fire-safety/article30422810.ece

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