Following the Kurla hotel fire on Friday, Mumbai Fire Brigade has resolved to act on hotels from next week as cramped up eateries mushrooming in the city and they are a potential fire trap.
Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started taking action on illegal alterations done by several malls in the city. In the first lot, the civic body has started pulling down the alterations carried out in Kenilworth Mall in Bandra (West) and eleven other malls in the city.
“After the Kenilworth Mall fire incident, we have started taking action against the illegal alteration in the malls. Malls have encroached upon the space which should be left open for the fire safety measures,” said a senior civic official.
Mumbai Fire Brigade’s chief fire officer Pratap Rahangdale said that Kenilworth Mall has stocked gas cylinders on the staircase in excessive numbers. This had created obstruction even for the firefighters as they had to deal with a lot of crackling cylinders one by one. “After that episode, the fire brigade has taken a drive to inspect all the hotels in the city. However, the Kurla fire is another alarming situation and we will have to take up the drive more intensely,” said Rahangdale adding that hotels like the one in Kurla have become fire traps as they have cramped up space with practically no fire saftey measures in place.
Rahangdale added that last week they took action against one Laxmi Hotel in Dadar during routine inspection. They had more number of cylinders stocked without any fire safety measures, risking people’s lives and property. Similarly, a fortnight ago, two other hotels were booked for similar reasons.
Mumbai Fire Brigade in August had appealed to all the owners/occupiers of high-rise buildings, starred hotels, cinema halls, multiplexes and auditoriums, commercial buildings, malls and shopping centres to submit ‘Fire Act B Form’ twice a year in January and July failing which they will have to face six months to three years of rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of Rs20,000 to Rs50,000 from January 2016. Considering the recent building collapses and fire incidents in the city and its satellite towns, Mumbai Fire Brigade has given an ultimatum through an ‘appeal’ to citizens to adhere to the law.