April 15, 2021 1:53:33 am
The Mumbai Fire Brigade has initiated action against the agency that issued a fire safety audit report for Dreams Mall in Bhandup West. It has also sent a letter to the Directorate of Maharashtra Fire Services to revoke the licence of the agency for submitting a “wrong” audit report.
On March 26, a fire broke out at Dreams Mall, which led to the death of nine patients at Sunrise Hospital located on its third floor. The fire brigade took more than 12 hours to douse the fire. Officials said while Sunrise Hospital got the no-objection certificate (NOC) from the fire brigade, except the fire alarm and smoke detectors, no firefighting systems like sprinklers, hydrants, hose pipes were operational.
Officials from the fire brigade said when they reached the spot and started firefighting operations, they found that a major part of the firefighting system was not functional.
“The Form B, which is mandatory for the establishment to submit every six months, was submitted in this case. The audit report has said the firefighting system was in working condition. But during firefighting, we found the system non-functional,” said a senior officer from the BMC.
Form B is a fire audit report submitted by establishments every six months to the fire brigade with the help of government-authorised private agencies that conduct such audits. The exercise is mandated in the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006.
A source from the fire brigade said a letter has been sent from the Mumbai Fire Brigade to the Directorate of Maharashtra Fire Services to revoke the licence granted to the agency. “The audit report by the private agency shows compliance of the firefighting system, but that is not correct. So we have written a letter to state fire services to revoke the agency’s licence,” said a source from the fire brigade.
At present, an inquiry is on under Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Disaster Management and Fire Brigade) P S Rahangdale. He is also the director of Maharashtra Fire Services Rahangdale refused to comment as the inquiry is still on. Officials from the BMC said an inquiry report was expected to be completed in a week.
After the fire broke out, it was found that Sunrise Hospital was granted provisional occupational certificate to start Covid-19 special hospital by delinking all illegalities and issues related to Dreams Mall.
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