While hearing a public interest litigation which lists 24 restaurants and shops that have not complied with fire safety measures, the Bombay High Court pointed out that these are death traps, and asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to visit these premises to ensure they are fire safety compliant.
The PIL filed by petitioner Dinar Sohani alleged that there are 24 premises from Charni Road to Andheri, including 22 restaurants and two shops, which are not complying with fire safety norms and do not have the relevant fire safety equipment installed on their premises.
These places include the famous saree shop Paaneri in Dadar and other restaurants like Aaswad, Ghomantak in the same area. Other restaurants include Nivedita, Shree Ram Boarding House on Charni Road, and Paramount restaurant in Mahim.
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The court has now asked the BMC and the fire department officials to visit these premises and submit a compliance report within a period of six weeks. “The owners of such places are not bothered about people’s lives,” said the court with the BMC informing the court that they check whether a place is fire safety compliant during issuance of a licence or when they received a complaint.
Thereafter, it is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that all fire safety measures are in place. The court, however, said this put people’s lives at risk.
Meanwhile, the petitioner had written letters to these commercial and business entities to undertake firefighting measures, but in vain with only Ghomantak reacting positively. By not keeping fire extinguishers on their premises, these establishments are not only putting the lives of people at great risk, but there is also a tendency among them to flout laws,” the petitioner’s lawyer said.