Malls located in Bandra have been excluded from the fire safety audit list prepared by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), a local Congress corporator has alleged.
The corporation had initiated a joint inspection of all malls starting July-end. According to a letter issued from the H/West ward (which includes Bandra), a copy of which is with The Indian Express, an audit was initiated for eight malls in the area.
Congress corporator Asif Zakaria said, “BMC is being very selective about the malls to be inspected. There are about 15 malls, which have not been included and that includes Amarsons, Shoppers Stop and Elco in Bandra. The issue of fire-safety has to be looked at holistically, we cannot take such knee-jerk reactions after incidents.” The malls being inspected by the civic body, according to the letter include, Reliance and Globus mall in Bandra, Paradise mall, Link Square mall and new beauty centre among others.
Following a major fire in Bandra’s Kenilsworth mall in July, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta had ordered a joint-safety inspection of all malls, shopping complexes in the city. The fire brigade noted a slew of violations in the malls, including dysfunctional internal fire-fighting equipment. The brigade also took more than four hours to contain the fire which aggravated owing to combustible material stores in the complex.
Officials from the encroachment department, however, said that the malls will be included for an inspection later. Deputy Municipal Commissioner B G Pawar, in-charge of encroachments, said, “We have just initiated the process of inspection. We have first selected malls that are in the vicinity of Kenilsworth following which we will proceed to investigate the other malls. It will be a continuous process.”
The joint inspection is being undertaken by both officials from the fire brigade and local ward offices.