Mumbai: 50 illegal cylinders found inside posh SoBo clubs

Updated: Jan 11, 2019, 13:32 IST | Arita Sarkar

The illegal cylinders were seized by the fire brigade from Bombay Gymkhana and Cricket Club of India for fire safety violations

Mumbai: 50 illegal cylinders found inside posh SoBo clubs
The cardboard boxes found near the electric panel at Bombay Gymkhana

Two popular South Mumbai clubs, Bombay Gymkhana and Cricket Club of India (CCI), have run into trouble with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) once again. This time, with the Fire Brigade, due to fire safety violations. During a recent inspection by fire officials, health officials, and A ward officers, violations were found at both the clubs. Three LPG cylinders and seven with compressed carbon dioxide were seized from Bombay Gymkhana, while 42 LPG cylinders and one of refrigeration gas were seized from CCI.

Officials from A ward said that the kitchen of the staff canteen at Bombay Gymkhana was operating without an eating house licence. "Only their main kitchen has the eating house licence. A few years ago, they had applied for the licence for the staff kitchen. However, since they didn't meet the norms, the licence was not given to them," said Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of A ward.

He added that the Bombay Gymkhana was using CO2 cylinders for draft beer though they didn't have the permission of the fire brigade for this. At CCI, the fire officials seized 42 LPG cylinders and one cylinder of refrigeration gas. Civic officials said that the club's administration was unable to produce any No Objection Certificates (NOC) for the large number of cylinders.

The LPG cylinders seized at Cricket Club of India
The LPG cylinders seized at Cricket Club of India

Fire chief speak
"We have seized the cylinders. Under section 6 of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006, notices will be issued for other deviations after receiving the inspection report tomorrow," said Prabhat Rahangdale, chief fire officer. He added that if they don't comply with the norms then their electricity connection will be disconnected and the fire department will prosecute them.

Rahangdale said at CCI, fire officials also found that illegal alterations and renovation work was being carried out on the second floor. The club's administration wasn't able to produce NOCs from the fire brigade and the Building Proposal department for them. He added that fire officials found obstructions in the passage (of the staircase) as well.

Clubs speak
RN Renjen, CEO of Bombay Gymkhana, said that the fire officials informed them about the violations verbally on Thursday and they will wait for the notice for more clarity. "The fire department has said that they will send the inspection report and notice tomorrow. We will respond after that," he said. Despite several attempts, CCI officials could not be contacted for comment.

10 No. of illegal cylinders seized from Bombay Gymkhana

43 No. of illegal cylinders seized from CCI

Mumbai: BMC offers a carrot to Bombay Gym; hints land maybe spared

203 hospitals don't have fire NOCs
More than 200 hospitals in Thane city do not have NOCs from the fire department. They also don't have fire safety measures in place. This was revealed when Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) officials asked them to submit all documents related to safety measures till December 31, but 203 hospitals could not provide them. TMC had asked for the documents after the fire in the ESIC hospital at Andheri, in which nine people died.

The Thane fire brigade had initiated a fire safety audit last month. It was to make a list of hospitals in the jurisdictions of its fire stations, and hold the safety audit. Sandeep Malvi, deputy commissioner and PRO, TMC said, "In the month of April last year we had renewed the registration of 384 hospitals after they were found to fulfill the norms of the hospital policy. It is the responsibility of the fire department to intimate us if any of the hospitals are unsafe, and we will cancel their registrations." The 203 hospitals are from these 384 hospitals. Fire department officials also said there are many lapses in fire safety in the civic-run Chhatrapati Shivaji Hospital, Kalwa, but TMC is not paying attention to it."

— Anamika Gharat

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