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Building, fire and health officials must inspect eateries before granting NOC

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Municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta has asked additional municipal commissioner I A Kundan to finetune the new policy for eateries after mentioning the roles and duties of all civic officials to fix accountability and ensure they do not harass applicants for bribes.
It will make it mandatory for building and factory (B&F) department engineers, fire officers and health officers to visit the premises before issuing NOCs to restaurants.

 

Master

Mehta is likely to introduce the policy within two weeks.

Mehta said, “Under the new policy, the B&F department staff will check for irregularities in a structure along with other details. We will ensure that all permissions are issued in a time-bound manner after fixing accountability of the officials. We will adopt a soft approach towards no-flame establishments like coffee shops or sandwich parlours.”

According to the earlier rule, only a fire officer would visit the applicant’s premises to examine fire compliance. Thereafter, the applicant needed to submit an application on the BMC portal along with other documents and the fire NOC.

B&F and other departments subsequently issued an NOC without inspecting the premises. The BMC decided to take a relook at the norms for eateries after the Kamala Mills fire in December that started at Mojo’s Bistro and spread to the adjoining 1Above restobar.

The fire officer had issued an NOC to the resto-bar under the new rooftop policy just a week before the tragedy. Other BMC departments had failed to notice the irregularities as they had not visited the premises.

The tragedy forced the BMC to draw up a new proposal to make its officials accountable for irregularities by putting tougher inspection conditions, though, at the same time, ensuring these do not defeat the purpose of ease of doing business. The new policy has listed the duties and scope of work for each concerned department while granting NOC to eateries.

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