March 26, 2021 5:26:02 pm
It was only last year that Mumbai Fire Brigade had served a notice on the owners of Dreams Mall in Bhandup West for violating fire safety norms. Months later, on Thursday night, a major fire swept through Sunrise Hospital, located inside the Dreams Mall, claiming at least 10 lives.
According to officials, the notice was issued in November 2020 after a team from the fire brigade inspected the four-storey mall and noted violations such as non-functional firefighting systems and blocked fire exits.
Dreams Mall was among 70 such installations inspected across the city last year after a major fire broke out in City Central Mall, Mumbai Central. As per the provision of Maharashtra Fire Safety and Life Measures Act, the mall was given 120 days of stipulated time to comply with the norms. However, the mall authorities did not submit a compliance report, said a senior fire brigade official. Dreams Mall houses several shops and the hospital is on the top floor. Officials said that many of the shops were shut since long as they were suffering losses.
“We have served a notice to Dreams Malls for under-compliance of fire safety norms. Once our firefighting gets over, we will check if they have submitted any compliance report,” said Hemant Parab, deputy chief fire officer, Mumbai Fire Brigade.
Officials said of the 71 malls inspected, fire brigade had sent notices to 29, including Dreams Mall, citing shortcomings. Other malls, including, CR 2 Mall, (Nariman Point), Nakshatra Mall in Dadar, Suburbia Mall in Bandra West, Cubic Mall in Chembur and Globus Mall in Bandra, were served notices for non-compliance with fire safety norms. The Indian Express has the list of malls that were served notices for under-compliance.
It took 56 hours of relentless fire fighting to control the blaze at the City Central Mall in Mumbai Central, which broke out on October 22, last year. Later, an inspection found several unauthorised additions and alterations to shops. The civic body disconnected electricity and water supply to the mall for non-compliance of fire safety regulations.
Local BJP corporator Sakshi Dalvi said she had written a letter to S ward (Bhandup), highlighting illegalities at the Mall and the hospital. “When the hospital opened, I wrote a letter to the local ward office, detailing the fire safety lapses at the mall. The Dreams society had been grappling with electricity and water problems. How could they have given the permission for a hospital to be run at such a place? I had also flagged a fire risk as the mall was in a bad shape,” Dalvi told The Indian Express.
This daily can confirm that she wrote two letters, on October 2 and November 2, 2020, to the local ward office.
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