More than 60% restaurants, food joints and clubs flout fire safety norms, say civic officials
Vashi: The recent fire breakout due to cylinder blast in a Kurla-based eatery — in which eight people, including seven students lost their lives — has woken up civic officials from the satellite city from their deep slumber.
The officials have pulled up their socks and started a crack down on such eateries and restaurants and checking if their fire safety measures are in place.
A civic official told dna of navi mumbai, “More than 60% of the restaurants, food joints and clubs in Navi Mumbai do not abide by the fire safety rules as suggested in the guidelines by the state government. While many hotels escape by paying a sum to officials to save their collars, the remaining skip the checks by installing less number fire extinguishers than required. Very few, in the counts of hundreds, are actually abiding the fire safety law.”
Sadanand Shetty, a hotelier, said, “A kitchen is a place where there is hustle bustle and people tend to make mistakes or forget switching off the cylinder knob. Thus the kitchen turns a graveyard if a fire breaks out.”
“Installing fire extinguishers is a must to avoid breakout of fire due to vivid reasons existing in the hotel premises. Though getting an NOC certificate from the local fire brigade is tough, it is a must document in your restaurant file,” Shetty added.
Many food establishments in Navi Mumbai fail to receive a fire NOC due to alterations over the existing ground space. The catering segment, including lunch homes, restaurant and bar, food stalls and Chinese joints need to take special precautionary measures to avoid any mishap in the kitchen of the joint. Possibility of outbreak of fire at food joints is maximum where the kitchen is closed and congested or altered with an illegal construction.
Babulal Shaikh, proprietor of OustFire Safety Engineer, (a government licenced agency) asserts, “Fire safety equipment are fixed in food joints only after examining the space with variables like area, type of kitchen, number of cylinders used and category of food joint. Some restaurants take safety precautions seriously while many manage to run their business without any safety measure. It is only after a government authorised fire safety agency gives a ‘B’ certificate, that the fire brigade provides with a fire NOC to the food joint.”
As per the information shared by a senior official from NMMC, “The following things would be examined by our team of officials soon — whether the eatery has complied with the conditions mentioned in the no-objection certificate (NOC) given by the fire brigade, if the eatery is used for the same purpose mentioned in its licence, if any alterations have been made to the structure and if the restaurant has complied with the terms and conditions put forth by the health department.” more..