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Authorities continue crackdown on Mumbai restaurants


Famous names have been caught in this dragnet such as Mainland China and Kofuku.

For the second consecutive day, Mumbai’s municipal authorities (BMC) continued to crack down on several restaurants in the city which were servicing patrons by flouting safety norms. Violations were detected in several famous restaurants like Japanese cuisine restaurant Kofuku, on Bandra’s Linking Road, and Mainland China at Saki Naka, Andheri. While unauthorised extensions at Kofuku were demolished, Mainland China was sealed for lacking a fire safety NOC.

On an average, BMC teams have inspected around 500 restaurants all over the city in the last two days and found many restaurants in the city had erected unauthorized lofts or used open space to service patrons. Some restaurants which had irregularities were owned by close associates of politicians.

After a fire at Kurla’s Hotel City Kinara killed eight persons, the municipal commissioner in a meeting on Saturday asked officials in each ward to check Grade 2 and 3 restaurants for violations. However, the BMC teams have inspected even Grade 1 restaurants and sealed many of them. A senior civic official said the drive will continue till all restaurants are inspected. “A common feature in both small eateries and posh pubs and restaurants in the city is negligence towards fire safety. Most restaurants have a poor fire exit plan and lack fire extinguishers. In many cases, though there are extinguishers the staff have no clue how they should be used,” said the official.

While Hotel City Kinara is a Grade 3 restaurant in L ward, BMC teams took action against two Grade 1 restaurants in the same ward on Tuesday. Mainland China was sealed for not having a fire NOC and Kailash Parbat, in Phoenix MarketCity Mall, Kurla, was issued a notice as no fire-fighting equipment or fire extinguishers were found. Also, the hotel was using extra cylinders.

A BMC team which went to demolish encroachments on the footpath by Grishma Hotel, Bhoiwada, was attacked by its owner of Grishma Hotel. In that one Gautam Pawar ( building mukadam) was manhandled by them. He was referred to the KEM hospital for medical treatment.

A common feature in most restaurants is negligence towards fire safety. They have a poor fire exit plan and lack fire extinguishers and staff have no clue how they should be used.

Meanwhile, hotels which were given notices or sealed on Monday said they were being made to run from pillar to post just to get back to business. Uma Iyer, one of the owners of Hotel Panchvati Gaurav at Phoenix MarketCity Mall, said, “Our hotel was sealed by the BMC on Monday stating we did not have health and fire NOCs. We had applied for them in April this year. The BMC should have got back to us if they felt there was something missing instead of just sealing the service area.”

“We do not mind co-operating with the authorities but they should not unnecessarily harass the eateries. On one hand, a hotel like City Kinara was served prosecution notices thrice, yet allowed to function. But now the authorities are not following the protocol of serving a notice and waiting for the eatery to comply with it. They are directly sealing the premises,” said Niranjan Shetty, chairman, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association.

Source: Times of India

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