A day after a fire swept through a pub in Kamala Mills compound in Mumbai, killing 14 people, Delhi Police and Delhi Fire Services continued combing bars and restaurants in the capital to see whether they were following norms. DCP South Romil Baaniya said, “We are carrying out a joint inspection with the fire services department. We are searching all restaurants, pubs and establishments and ensuring that they have the required clearances.”
The exercise is likely to continue for the next two days, and will especially target markets with high footfall. Establishments that are found to be operating without the required clearances will not be allowed to host events on New Year’s Eve, police said.
Police have also requested Market Welfare Associations (MWA) to ensure the presence of ambulances, doctors and nurses to ensure speedy delivery of emergency services in case of an accident. In a letter to the Hauz Khas MWA, the Safdarjung police station said that the market is likely to see 70,000-80,000 people on New Year’s Eve. But with “two parkings allotted by MCD and DDA where 600 vehicles could be parked” and “2,000 villagers (who) park their vehicles on road/parking” and a “temple”, congestion is likely. “It is therefore requested that two ambulances with doctor and nurses be arranged and provided to police station Safdarjung Enclave for said events on 31.12.2017 at 5 pm,” it said.
Hauz Khas village has about 30 pubs. Twelve were closed four months ago by the SDMC and Delhi Pollution Control Committee for violating fire and environmental norms. According to Delhi Police, only 400 of Delhi’s 5,000 restaurants, pubs and bars have the requisite fire safety clearance. Sources said that most restaurants flout fire norms, relying on a rule which states that only spaces with seating capacity of more than 50 need fire safety clearance and a fire exit. Officials from civic agencies said that most of the 4,528 licences they issued were to eating joints that claim seating for 48-49 people.
Fire safety checks begin in Gurgaon, 3 teams formed
Officials from the fire department in Gurgaon will visit various outlets and other spots — scheduled to host events on New Year’s Eve — to inspect the fire safety arrangements. They will take action if any violations or deficiencies are found, Urban Local Bodies minister Kavita Jain said on Saturday. “Nobody can be permitted to put the lives of people in danger in the name of celebrating the new year,” said Jain. Three teams have been constituted to undertake the inspections.
As part of this inspection exercise, a total of “45-50 locations” were inspected on Saturday, of which only three were asked to initiate changes, while the others were found to be complying with fire safety provisions. The locations checked included 26 outlets in Cyber Hub and the surrounding areas, and 13 hotels and restaurants on MG road.
The third team inspected Lemon Tree hotel, the Oberoi hotel and Hotel Trident, as well as the Kingdom of Dreams in Sector 29, all of which were found to have made the required fire safety arrangements. The three teams will undertake inspections on Sunday as well. ens