As the issue of poor fire prevention systems was highlighted after the Kamala Mills incident in central Mumbai, activist Vihar Durve said that the corporation and the fire department did nothing to prevent such incidents despite several requests.Since 2005, Durve has written over 100 letters pointing out the inability of the BMC and the fire department in implementation of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006.He also filed over 200 RTI applications to the various departments of the BMC and fire asking about the status of its implementation. “Fire safety is compromised at all levels in the city as those who run big eateries easily bribe the corporation and get away with the violation of norms. Eleven years after the act for fire safety came into effect, there has been no action on those who do not follow the requisite norms putting the lives of ordinary people at stake” Durve told DNA.In a response to one of the RTIs filed by Durve, the Mumbai Fire Brigade stated that between 2012 and 2015, a total of 1,090 people were injured while 634 people lost their lives in fire-related incidents.The response also stated that the fire department had issued notices to a total of 1,502 owners/occupiers of premises that were not complying with the fire safety norms.Durve said that when asked about the details of compliance for each of the surveyed eateries between 2012 and 2015, the reply stated that the corporation did not have the consolidated details of the same.Another RTI put before the Indian Audits and Accounts department revealed that there was no audit of the fire and disaster management department between 2013 and 2015. “Even after writing to all the authorities and the Chief Minister consistently, there was no seriousness in implementing the 2006 guidelines” he said.
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