A day after five people died in a blast at an industrial unit in Saki Naka,the civic administration has decided to clamp down on illegal units by disconnecting their electricity supply. The police,meanwhile,are awaiting reports from the fire brigade and BMC before registering a complaint.
We are exploring the legal angle of cutting electricity to such units in near future. We are also planning to write to the electric utility companies to disconnect supply to such units, said Harshad Kale,Assistant Municipal Commissioner of L Ward (Kurla-Saki Naka).
Civic officials said there are 100-150 illegal industrial units in the Kurla-Saki Naka belt. The unit where the blast took place was operating without a licence. There were serious violations at the premise. Local ward officials undertake routine inspections in the area and take severe action against such units. But according to law,one cannot disconnect electricity of such units, said a senior civic official.
Typically,industrial units should have a valid factory permit under Section 390 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act,trade licence from BMC and a No-Objection Certificate from Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.
DCP M M Dahikar (Zone 10) said,We are awaiting technical reports from BMC and the Fire Brigade about the cause of the explosion. Once we have that,we will have a clearer idea of who was responsible and will see whether it is necessary to register an offence of causing death due to negligence. The reports should reach us shortly.
There were a lot of brick kilns in Saki Naka 50 years ago. Slowly,the owners began to sell the land to small manufacturing units. The victims used to work for the owner of K K Compound and were given space to build a tin shed. They were allowed to live there even after he sold the compound. The wall collapse crushed the tin shed, said a resident.