Mumbai: A day after 14 people were killed in a massive fire at a restaurant in Kamala Mills Compound, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cracked down on restaurants and started razing unauthorised constructions. In a collective drive carried out by all ward offices, the BMC razed 314 unauthorised constructions.
The BMC found illegality at 624 places, out of which 314 illegal constructions have been demolished. Seven hotels have also been sealed for various reasons. The BMC also seized more than 417 gas cylinders stored in restaurants.
Notably, the BMC demolished ‘SMASH GAMING’ for which Virat Kohli is a brand ambassador and it also has cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s support.
The BMC also demolished ‘1 Above’, where Mojo Resto Bar was situated. According to BMC officials, the BMC pulled down illegal roofs of two restaurants - ‘Skyview Cafe and ‘Social’ in Kamala Mills and encroachments of ‘Pranay’ and ‘Fumes’ and ‘Sheesha Sky Lounge’ at Raghuvanshi Mills in the same locality. The popular restaurant ‘Pravas’, which looks like a bogie of a train, was also razed using an excavator machine.
Action was also taken against famous restaurants at Fort, Khaibar and Jafran. The BMC razed the illegal extensions of Catholic Gymkhana and Wilson Gymkhana. Illegal extensions of Peninsula International, part of Orchid and Bawa International at Bandra were also demolished in the action. A restaurant in Atria Mall also razed by the BMC.
FIRs registered for Mojo fire
Meanwhile, two separate FIRs have been registered against the owners of ‘Mojo’s Bistro’ and ‘1 Above’ pubs, a senior police official said. Since the pubs are located in the Kamala Mills compound where the alleged illegal extension was constructed, its owners have been named in the FIR, Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone 3 Virendra Mishra said.
A case has also been filed against the owner of P22 mall at Raghuvanshi mills in suburban Kurla on the charge of illegal constructions, he added. Earlier, the police had said lookout notices were issued against Hitesh Sanghvi and Jigar Sanghvi, the co-owners of ‘1 Above’ pub, which is run by C Grade Hospitality, to ensure they can’t escape from the country. They have been booked under various charges including culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The fresh cases were filed under relevant sections of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act for constructing illegal extensions based on a complaint by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the official said.
However, the pub had claimed that it had all necessary approvals and safety norms in place. It had also blamed Mojo’s Bistro on the floor below for not having an emergency exit, leading to overcrowding of ‘1 Above’s’ escape avenues. Blaming an adjoining property for the devastating fire, the ‘1 Above’ management said, “According to our staff, a fire began to emanate from the adjacent quarters to our premises.”