Mumbai: BMC proposes sweeping changes to fire safety policy in inquiry report

Updated: Jan 19, 2018, 14:47 IST | Chetna Yerunkar | Mumbai

In order to prevent a repeat of the Kamala Mills tragedy, the BMC is now all set to introduce sweeping changes to the city's fire safety policy, including making amendments to the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act

Representational Picture
Representational Picture

In order to prevent a repeat of the Kamala Mills tragedy, the BMC is now all set to introduce sweeping changes to the city's fire safety policy, including making amendments to the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act. The focus will now be on encouraging eateries to be honest about their own fire compliance - if they have met all safety norms, they will get an incentive; if not, they will be punished. This means the fire department too will have to stay on top of its game and carry out regular inspections across the city. To handle this increased workload, the BMC will introduce the second big change - splitting the fire department in two. One section will handle fire-fighting, while the other will ensure compliance and fire prevention.

The civic body has proposed that for ease of business, eateries can make self-declarations about whether they are compliant, upon which they will be given their licence. Within a month of this, the fire department must conduct an inspection to verify compliance. If found non-compliant, licence should be summarily cancelled and payment received forfeited. Further, licence will be cancelled automatically for any eatery that is issued with three violation notices, or faces seizure action twice in the same year.

"We are going to make risk-based inspections, in high-risk areas like hotels, malls, eating premises, theaters. Norms will be laid down for inspection of high risk and low risk structures. The fire officer will report to ward officer and they will take joint action," civic chief Ajoy Mehta told mid-day. Further, the BMC inquiry report recommends fixing liability on interior designers and architects for faulty designs that pose a fire risk. It is also proposed that every building must have a fire safety officer with a designated uniform, whose contact details must be submitted to the chief fire officer.

Two seizure actions after which a restaurant's licence will be cancelled

Three violation notices after which a restaurant's licence will be cancelled

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