The Koregaon Park Plaza mall,where a major fire broke out on Thursday,was only partially occupied and space was rented out to various firms even as renovation work on a portion of the building was underway.
According to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials,the mall was issued the completion and partial occupancy centificates by the corporation last year. We issued the completion certificate in August 2011 after clearance from an architect. The completion certificate is issued only after essential facilities like a working elevator are up, said Vivek Kharwadkar,additional city engineer,PMC.
Sources said only 47 per cent of the mall was occupied and some businesses were running from the three underground levels. The near Rs 200 crore property was opened for business only few months ago. Fitment work for most of the mall was still going on and more shoppers were expected after this was over, said an official.
The mall,however,has been receiving a large number of vistors. On an average,6,000 people had been visiting the mall each day. The police are investigating if there was any lapse in fire safety norms.
Siddharth Sahgal,head of mall management,Pioneer Property Zone,was not available for comment. However,a statement issued on his behalf,said the fire was brought under control by midnight. The cleaning process has begun. Prompt action from our team ensured that the building was evacuated immediately. As fire safety measures were in place,there were no casualities. The damage was contained, read the statement.
We are co-operating with the local authorities that are investigating the cause of the fire and assessment of the damage is underway. The mall will reopend once cleaning operations are over and equipment tested.
On Friday,the security staff at the mall didnt allow anyone inside. Sachin More,sales manager of an brand store,said the store remained closed. Some of the staff employed in brand outlets has been shifted, he said.