Petition seeks fire safety audit of city hotels, eateries, bars and lounges, action against violators.
Mumbai: Concerned over the spate of fires in the city and the lackadaisical attitude of some officials, former Mumbai police commissioner, Julio Ribeiro filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday.
The PIL seeks comprehensive fire safety audit of each hotel, eatery, bar and lounge in the city with the help of the fire brigade and urban development officers. The PIL has been filed after the fire incident of Kamala mill compound on December 29 last year in which 14 people had died and 31injured.
The petition stated that all the document and record pertaining to the fire should be present before the HC. Mr Ribeiro requested the HC to set up judicial commission under the commission of Inquiries Act to make public officers and private persons accountable. He sought for furnishing of reports in time-bound manner. The former top cop also sought that the special investigation team (SIT) should be formed to investigate the fire under the officer of rank of additional commissioner of police. The petition stated that a time-bound report should be called from SIT.
The petition relies on newspaper articles and television reports, which claimed that people lost their lives due to asphyxiation and lack of evacuation plan. It is also alleged that there was only one fire exit and that was too narrow to accommodate the large number of patrons. Petition also alleged that there were gross negligence and omission on the part of various officers of BMC and government authorities.
The PIL states that after the fire at 1 Above and litigation, BMC razed around 300 illegal structures and sealed many eateries.
Mr Ribeiro further alleged that the BMC officers must have known about the said irregularities of eateries but did not take any action till the Kamala mill fire which claimed 14 lives. He also pointed out lacunas in fire department with the help of news articles. Age Correspondent