The Kamala Mills fire: a look at how the events unfolded

Timely action could have saved lives, say activists


‘1 Above used terraced area in violation of building rules’

Three activists, who have time and again brought the lack of safety measures at eateries in the city to the notice of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said on Friday that timely action could have saved lives.

Santosh Gupta, Illiyas Khan and Dinesh Vaghela for months had been alerting the BMC to violations of safety norms by restaurants like 1 Above and Mojo’s. The trio feels that Friday’s tragedy could have averted had BMC officials acted on their complaints.

In response to a Right To Information query that Mr. Gupta filed in May, BMC authorities revealed that 1 Above had not been given permission to use ‘the open terrace for trade activity’.

Mr. Gupta said, “In my RTI application, I had asked the officials to furnish inspection reports. However, the BMC said the owner had taken ‘objection to disclose that information.’ This tragedy should never have happened.”

On May 31, the BMC had also issued a Stop Work notice following the construction of an unauthorised wall. Mr. Khan said, “The officials knew that the constructions were illegal. Yet they did not take any action.”

Mr. Khan is in possession of a copy of the Public Health Department’s inspection report of the local ward. The report states that 1 Above did not have the requisite permissions to conduct operations on a terrace. Mr. Khan said, “I had also brought this to the notice of the Municipal Commissioner in July this year.”

Mr. Waghela of Safe Mumbai Association said that restaurants were conducting illegal operations as hookahs are not permitted on the premises of an eatery. He said, “The BMC can allow hookahs only if the eatery has a specified smoking area.”

Mr. Waghela said he has a copy of the BMC inspection report served to Mojo’s, which states that 1 Above used the terraced area and permitted patrons to smoke in violation of rules.

In September this year, Mr. Waghela wrote to the Chief Officer (Enquiry) to take action against Dr. Satish Badgire, Health officer of G/South Ward, for ‘negligence in duty’. Mr. Waghela sais, “Ironically, he along with five others have now been suspended. What is the point in taking action now after the damage has already been done? Innocent lives would have been saved had action been taken earlier.”

Assistant Municipal Commissioner Prashant Sapkale, said that he issued inspection reports to all open air restaurants that did not have requisite permissions to carry out operations in terraced areas. “We even carried out a demolition on August 2 and a seizure on September 22,” he claimed.

However, Mr. Gupta said, “If they were serious, they would not have let them run for a single day.”

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 10:23:24 AM |

In This Package
14 killed as fire engulfs Mumbai pub
Fire alarm: Understanding Mumbai's recent fire tragedies
Kamala Mills fire has shaken society’s conscience: HC
Mumbai pub fire: It took over 6 hours to control the blaze
Mumbai fire: Celebration turns into tragedy
Mumbai fire: Officials suspended as Opposition seeks CBI probe
Eateries flouted basic safety norms: cops
You are reading
Timely action could have saved lives, say activists
Blaze brings back memories of City Kinara hotel fire
Corrupt officials behind illegal, fire-prone buildings: corporators
Survivors remember screaming, confusion, no clear fire exit
Probe on to ascertain the cause of Mumbai pub blaze
Mumbai pub fire: Fresh FIRs registered against pub owners
314 illegal extensions demolished, 7 restaurants sealed after Mumbai pub fire
Fire dept., BMC probe fire cause, politicos make rounds of site
On Day 2, BMC seals 30 eateries; no prior notice, say owners
Relatives of 1 Above owner held, get bail
22 more rooftop pubs, restaurants served notice by Fire Services Dept.
Mumbai Kamala Mills fire: two managers of ill-fated pub, kin of owner arrested
Mumbai Kamala Mills fire: Will target officials-activists nexus, says BMC chief
Kamala Mills fire: owner of Mojo’s Bistro arrested
Kamala Mills fire: Co-owner of Mojo’s Bistro arrested for December 29 fire
‘People dying in fires just a statistic for government,’ says Neelam Krishnamoorthy
Kamala Mills fire: where are 1Above owners, Sena asks Fadnavis
Kamala Mills fire: Ribeiro moves HC seeking probe
Mojo’s Bistro’s Yug Tuli took refuge in city, flees
Kamala Mills fire: Two pub owners arrested
Kamala Mills compound fire: another co-owner of 1Above pub arrested
Court denies bail to managers as lawyer forgets to sign application
1Above’s third partner held; trio in 7-day police custody
Kamala Mills: Vikhe-Patil seeks CBI probe
Cops suspect more people may have helped 1Above owners
Kamala Mills fire: anticipatory bail rejected for Yug Tulli, co-owner of Mojo’s Bistro
Fire Department to start inspection of roof-top pubs today
Kamala Mills fire: Cops to announce cash reward for info on Mojo's Bistro co-owner Yug Tulli
Kamala Mills fire: Mojo’s Bistro owner Yug Tulli surrenders
Next Story