Mumbai: No relief for shopkeepers of SoBo's City Centre Mall
BMC also issues notices to 29 other malls in the city for lapses in their fire-fighting systems
There is no relief for shopkeepers seeking the opening of City Centre Mall at Nagpada from the BMC, despite meeting environment and tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray. The BMC refused permission to open the mall early this month and insisted on a structural audit of the building. It has also issued notices to 29 malls in the city for lapses in their fire-fighting system.
The notices said that if the shortcomings are not corrected within a month's time, the mall owners could even lose their licenses. Out of the 29 malls in the city, 22 malls are in the western suburbs. The fire brigade had carried out a survey of 71 malls in the city.
The fire that had started on the second floor of City Centre Mall last month as a level one fire (small fire), had turned into a brigade call (where the entire fire-fighting team is roped in). Fire officials said that it was one of the longest fire-fighting operations in the city as the fire was put out after 56 long hours. There are almost 600 to 700 shops inside the mall. Aaditya Thackeray had mentioned on his Instagram handle that the shopkeepers had met him seeking the opening of the mall.
On inspection of the site after the incident, the civic corporation had said that the structure was unfit. There were also illegalities reported in the mall with several corporators in the standing committee claiming that many shops were given out illegally and the mall is not as per the original plan. While the detailed investigations are still going on, there is no question of allowing the reopening of the mall, revealed sources. A civic official said, "We have asked shopkeepers to comply with all the necessary instructions and even the minister has told them to adhere to the norms. Unless that is done, we cannot grant them permission to open the mall."
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