The Bombay High Court on Monday told the Mumbai administration to use the blaze at Kamala Mills as an opportunity to increase fire safety measures in the city, PTI reported. The fire on December 29, 2017, killed 14 people in the compound in Lower Parel.
A division bench of justices made the observation while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Mumbai’s former Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro. He had asked the court to order an audit of all eateries and restaurants in the city. The court set the next hearing for February 14.
There is a need for constant monitoring, Justices R M Borde and R G Ketkar said. “This incident [Kamala Mills] has given you [the city civic body] an opportunity to improve your system,” Borde said. “Stakes are high as it is about citizens’ safety which is of utmost importance.”
The court stressed the need for an independent system to monitor and regulate establishments in the city. “There needs to be constant monitoring or else such cases of fire and negligence will continue,” the court said. The bench also questioned the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation about its provisions to allow establishments to operate on rooftops of buildings.
Several such fires were reported in Mumbai in January. On January 19, a blaze broke out at the Navrang Studio in Lower Parel. The same day, there was another fire in Thane’s Giriraj Heights. One person died on January 6 in a fire at Cinevista Studio in Kanjurmarg.