In the wake of the Kamala Mills tragedy, trustees of Shri Rajasthani Sewa Sangh that runs Shriniwas Bagarka College and S P D T College in Andheri East have raised concerns over alleged violation of fire safety norms by a restaurant adjacent to the college. Citing that the restaurant poses a serious threat to the lives of the students, the trustees have written to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner seeking inspection of the eatery. They alleged that the restaurant, Gopal Krishna, was “illegally” built on the boundary wall of the college and the owner has been openly flouting fire safety and other norms of the civic body.
“The hotel has LPG cylinders, air-conditioners and loosely spread electrical wiring on our boundary wall and if there is a short-circuit, lives of around 7,000 students and staff members would be in danger,” said Dr Vinod Tiberwala, Trustee, Shri Rajasthani Sewa Sangh group of institutions.
A letter written by the trustees dated January 6 and addressed to BMC chief Ajoy Mehta states: “There are LPG cylinders stored without having any proper safety measures in place, which can result into fire hazard anytime.”
When contacted, Sudhakar Shetty, the owner of Gopal Krishna, told the The Indian Express: “We have all mandatory permissions from the authorities in place and our premises has got a fire NOC too. The hotel structure is adequately strengthened and all our pillars are in place. Additionally, we do not have LPG cylinders as we use Piped Natural Gas (PNG) connection.”
The Assistant Municipal Commissioner, K East ward (Andheri east), Prashant Sapkale, confirmed that he has received a complaint from the trust and a thorough investigation would be conducted. “I have instructed a fire safety compliance cell — a joint inspection team comprising the Medical officer of Health (MOH) and the fire department —to inspect the restaurant. If they are found to be violating any norm pertaining fire safety and those stipulated by the building and factory department, action will be taken against them,” he said.