BMC Takes Action After Kamala Mills Mumbai Fire, Demolishes 314 Illegal Encroachments

| December 31 , 2017 , 11:13 IST

After the fire that struck the Kamala Mills compound near Lower Parel area of Mumbai on Friday resulting in the death of 14 people by suffocation, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has undertaken a massive demolition drive.

According to reports, the BMC pulled down illegal extensions of 314 restaurant-bar-pubs and hookah parlours, sealing another 7 restaurants for gross violations. Action was taken against illegal encroachments by the famed Wilson Gymkhana, Islam Gymkhana, Catholic Gymkhana and Parsi Gymkhana on Marine Drive in Mumbai. A total of 417 gas cylinders were also seized.

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The drive began on Saturday with the inspection of 624 establishments located in malls, hotels and mill compounds. The BMC is expected to continue its drive next week as well.

Local-level teams had been formed by Civic chief Ajoy Mehta to identify and act against such violations, keeping in mind that due to New Year's Eve, more gatherings would be expected at partying joints.

The teams were deputed to inspect all the restaurants and check that they were fire compliant, had sufficient fire escape routes and staircases, and that they had not encroached onto open areas.

The Kamala Mills fire led to outrage, as doctors of the King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital confirmed that the 14 fatalities occurred due to suffocation and not by flames. Initial reports found that lack of suitable escape routes led to the suffocation and death of the victims, although an in-depth investigation into the incident is to be conducted.

The cause of fire for the Kamala Hills blaze is also yet to be identified, although a senior official said that the BMC is exploring 3 angles; a short circuit, fire liquor show or use of hookah. The roof-top restaurant of the Kamala Mills had caught fire which then spread rapidly, setting the building ablaze within 30 minutes.