Mumbai pub fire: BMC continues crackdown on illegal structures

MUMBAI: The city civic body continued to raze unauthorised structures of restaurants, hotels and other food joints for the third day today, after a fire in an upscale pub here claimed 14 lives on Friday.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which initiated the mega demolition drive two days back, has decided to adopt a strict stand and not heed to requests by pubs and hotel owners to delay the action in view of New Year celebrations.
“We want to remove every unauthorised structure at restaurants, pubs, malls, food joints, other eateries and hotels. We are asking managers or owners of such properties to remove it on their own or else we will bring it down,” BMC spokesperson Ram Dotonde said.
He said their teams on the field have the documents of structures which are unauthorised or illegal.
“Hardly any manager or owner is opposing our action as we have proof,” Dotonde said.
He said BMC teams will continue with their work of razing illegal structures and a detailed report will be compiled by the evening.
Another BMC official said, “We are using this opportunity to remove maximum unauthorised structures. Some pub and hotel owners used to request us to delay the action, especially during New Year celebrations. But this time the BMC has decided not to listen to such requests, and take action.”
The civic officials in Mumbai yesterday demolished illegal structures at 314 sites.
The BMC had also sealed seven hotels and seized around 417 LPG cylinders during the action, the civic body said yesterday in a release.
The civic body has also directed its officials to form teams to ensure that restaurants and bars follow safety norms, in view of the New Year parties.
Civic chief Ajoy Mehta, in a message earlier to all BMC assistant municipal commissioners and deputy commissioners, had said that all zonal deputy commissioners and ward officers were asked to form teams comprising staff of building and factory departments, medical health officer and the fire department.
The teams will inspect all restaurants in their respective wards and ensure they are fire-compliant, the message said.
The premises should have fire-escape routes, staircases and open spaces, free from encroachment, it added.
Meanwhile, Social, which was mentioned by BMC as one of the restaurants/pubs whose illegal extensions were demolished yesterday, has stated that it has no property in the Kamala Mills area and that its name was incorrectly mentioned by the civic body. (AGENCIES)


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