Local politician‘s complaint about fire hazard was ignored

On December 7, the BMC wrote back to the politician saying that on inspection, no unauthorised construction had been found in the Kamala Mills area.

IMAGE: Firefighters try to extinguish the fire at the restaurant in Kamala Mills in Mumbai; (inset) MNS leader Mangesh Kashalkar.
In photograph below, the BMC response to Kashalkar‘s complaint, stating that on inspection no unauthorised extensions had been found Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

Mangesh Kashalkar, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader from Mumbai’s ward number 195 in central Mumbai, had complained in writing to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation about the lack of safety conditions in Kamala Mills area, which is chock a block with restaurants and pubs, many of which had constructed illegal extensions, ignoring fire safety compliance in the process.

 

The devastating fire at Kamala Mills in the wee hours of Friday started off at a pub, before spreading to other areas. So far 14 persons have been killed in the fire.

On December 7, the BMC wrote back to Kashalkar saying that on inspection, no unauthorised extensions had been found.

Kamala Mills area has 15 pubs spread over a small area, that serve alcohol and even hookah, which is a fire hazard, Kashalkar told this correspondent on Friday morning at Kamala Mills.

Most of these outlets have no fire exits, or even fire safety equipment, he said.

Kashalkar, who visited KEM hospital to call on the grieving families on Friday, said many of the victims had died of suffocation, not fire burns, which proves his point about the lack of fire safety, he pointed out.

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