The Mumbai civic body has directed its officials to form teams to ensure that all the restaurants are fire safety compliant in view of the New Year celebrations, a day after a massive fire at a plush pub here claimed 14 lives.
Civic chief Ajoy Mehta, in a message to all assistant municipal commissioners and deputy commissioners of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said all zonal deputy commissioners and ward officers are requested to form a team comprising staff of building and factory departments, medical health officer and fire department staff.
The team will inspect all the restaurants in their respective wards and ensure that they are fire compliant, the message said.
The premises should have fire escape routes, staircases and ensure open spaces are encroachment free, it added.
Fourteen people were killed and 21 others injured after a major fire broke out at '1 Above' pub, located on the terrace of a building in Kamala Mills compound on Senapati Bapat Marg in Lower Parel in the wee hours on Friday. Most of the victims, who included 11 women, died of asphyxiation.
The Mumbai civic body had yesterday suspended five officials, including those attached to the G-South ward for dereliction of duty. There are allegations that civic authorities turned a blind eye to construction irregularities and violation of fire safety norms in the compound.
Mumbai mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar had said an inquiry had been ordered and strict action would be taken against errant officials.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena, which is at the helm of affairs in the BMC, in its mouthpiece 'Saamana' lamented today the lethargic attitude of the administrations across the world towards issues of fire safety, as it cited the examples of fire incidents at Mecca, London.
The party admitted that the incidents of fire in Mumbai had gone up in the last two years. "The nexus of civic officers and employees, with the owners of premises that caught fire, resulting in the loss of lives has been debated extensively," it said.