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BMC Scurries Into Action After 14 Deaths, Razes Illegal Structures at Five Restaurants

A BMC official confirmed that they have pulled down "illegal roofs" of two restaurants-'Skyview Caf' and 'Social' in Kamala Mills and encroachments of 'Pranay' and 'Fumes' and 'Sheesha Sky Lounge' at Raghuvanshi Mills in the same locality.

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Updated:December 30, 2017, 5:07 PM IST
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BMC Scurries Into Action After 14 Deaths, Razes Illegal Structures at Five Restaurants
An illegal roof being pulled down at a restaurant in Mumbai.
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Mumbai: The Mumbai civic administration’s crackdown on restaurants and unauthorised constructions picked up pace on Saturday, a day after 14 people died in a fire at a rooftop restaurant in Mumbai’s Lower Parel.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) took action against at least five eateries and restaurants following Friday’s fire at Kamala Mills compound.

A BMC official confirmed that they have pulled down "illegal roofs" of two restaurants —'Skyview Caf' and 'Social' in Kamala Mills and encroachments of 'Pranay' and 'Fumes' and 'Sheesha Sky Lounge' at Raghuvanshi Mills in the same locality.

Action was also taken against some restaurants in Andheri, the official said.

"We have already formed several teams and are collecting information about the hotels and restaurants, after getting complaints of unauthorised constructions by them. Several ward officers are also carrying out inspection and razing such illegal structures," BMC spokesperson Ram Dotonde said.

The city’s civic body has also directed its officials to form teams to ensure that all restaurants are fire safety compliant in view of the New Year celebrations.

Civic chief Ajoy Mehta, in a message to all assistant municipal commissioners and deputy commissioners of the BMC, said all zonal deputy commissioners and ward officers are requested to form a team comprising staff of building and factory departments, medical health officer and fire department staff.

The premises should have fire escape routes, staircases and ensure open spaces are encroachment free, it added.

Fourteen people were killed and 21 others injured after a major fire broke out at '1 Above' pub, located on the terrace of a building in Kamala Mills compound on Senapati Bapat Marg. Most of the victims, including 11 women, died of asphyxiation.

The Mumbai civic body had suspended five officials, including those attached to the G-South ward for
dereliction of duty. There are allegations that civic authorities turned a blind eye to construction irregularities and violation of fire safety norms in the compound.

Mumbai mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar had said an inquiry had been ordered and strict action would be taken against errant officials.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena, which is at the helm of affairs in the BMC, in its mouthpiece 'Saamana' lamented the lethargic attitude of the administrations across the world towards issues of fire safety, as it cited the examples of fire incidents at Mecca, London.

The party admitted that the incidents of fire in Mumbai had gone up in the last two years.

"The nexus of civic officers and employees, with the owners of premises that caught fire, resulting in the loss of lives has been debated extensively," it said.

(With PTI inputs)
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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