Mumbai: A day after a blaze at an upscale pub in central Mumbai claimed 14 lives and injured many, civic officials demolished illegal structures at 314 sites in the city and sealed seven hotels.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC initiated an inspection drive of 624 restaurants, eateries and malls across the city and its suburbs and razed illegal, unauthorised structures at 314 sites, the civic body said in a release.
"The BMC has sealed seven hotels and seized around 417 LPG cylinders during the action," it added.
A BMC official said that they 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. A major portion of the popular Zaffran Hotel, located opposite the police headquarters in south Mumbai, was removed too.
Around 1,000 officials and employees of the civic body are employed to have a strict inspection of all restaurants, pubs and eateries. Any unauthorised structure will be brought down immediately with the teams not just limiting the inspection to central Mumbai but also the suburbs, officials said.
"The unauthorised hotels and restaurants, not only in central Mumbai, but also those located in the distant suburbs, such as Malad and Mulund, are facing action," BMC spokesperson Ram Dotonde said.
The civic body has also directed its officials to form teams to ensure that restaurants and bars follow the safety norms for the New Year parties. Civic chief Ajoy Mehta said all teams were to comprise of staff of the building and factory departments, medical health officer and the fire department.
Inspection will be made to ensure every restaurant is free from encroachment and is fire compliant with fire-escape routes, staircases and open spaces.
The owners of the Lower Parel pub have been booked and lookout notices have been issued to prevent them from leaving the country.
Around 150 people were present at "1 Above" when the fire broke out. Witnesses said the entire building was engulfed in flames in less than half-an-hour. The fire is believed to have spread further as the roof of the restaurant was made of bamboo and tarpaulin sheets.
(With PTI inputs)