Crackdown Following Kamala Mills Fire Expected To Hit New Year's Eve Business

Dilip Datwani, the president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), estimates a 25 per cent hit to the hospitality industry in India's financial capital.

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Crackdown Following Kamala Mills Fire Expected To Hit New Year's Eve Business

Kamala Mills Fire: The Mumbai civic body has taken action against illegal constructions in restaurants


Mumbai:  The crackdown on restaurants in Mumbai's Lower Parel area, sparked by the Kamala Mills fire that killed 14, will have a big impact on the business of restaurants and bars in the city during New Year celebrations, according to an industry source.

Dilip Datwani, the president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), estimates a 25 per cent hit to the hospitality industry in India's financial capital.

Speaking to news agency Press Trust of India, Mr Patwani said the Kamala Mills fire worsened the sentiment of the public, which was already negative due to the Goods and Services Tax that was implemented this year.

"The incident was very tragic and has turned the sentiment further negative for the industry's upcoming New Year celebrations, which was already suffering due to the Goods and Services Tax (GST)" he said.

"We are expecting the business in Mumbai to be affected by 25 per cent this New Year's eve," he added.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC on Saturday took action against at least 314 restaurants, demolishing unauthorized constructions. Illegal roofs at two restaurants - 'Skyview Cafe' and 'Social' in Kamala Mills - and encroachments of 'Pranay' and 'Fumes' and 'Sheesha Sky Lounge' at neighbouring Raghuvanshi Mills were pulled down. Another popular restaurant 'Pravas', which looks like a train coach, was also razed using an excavator machine.

"The fire incident was very tragic, and there is definitely a need to take action to make city restaurants and pubs a safe place for patrons," Mr Datwani said.

"There is a need to review the situation. Definite action must be taken where it is needed," he added.

However, he said that the demolition drive "left, right and centre" won't solve the problem.

The HRAWI has called on its members to give paramount importance to patrons' safety and observance of all fire safety norms.

"Our members will observe a low-key New Year's eve by sporting a white label or flag in grief for the citizens who lost their lives at Kamala Mills," he said.


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