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BMC blames socio-economic problems for Andheri farsan shop fire

A day after 12 people were charred in a fire at an illegal condiment factory in Sakinaka, the civic body on Tuesday tried to shrug off its responsibility by attributing the tragedy to a combination of several issues.Political pressure, court cases and government failure in checking illegal supply of electricity and gas cylinders for commercial purposes the hurdles that it faces in controlling unauthorised businesses in the city, said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.”It is a socio-economic problem that people come to Mumbai to do odd jobs. The workers who died on Monday were from north India,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Bharat Marathe. The Bhanu condiment factory on Khairani Road was too small to operate as a factory and accommodate 20 people, said Marathe, the in-charge of civic affairs for the area.And the issues span across Mumbai, he said. “It is a reality that 60 percent of the city have the same scenario.” Regular inspections and strict action are the need of the hour, he said.Vote-bank politics undo all the efforts of the civic body, said a BMC official, who did not wish to be named. “We are under immense political pressure to not take action in slums. It is only after court orders that we can do something.” He said only a handful of politicians allow the BMC to do its work in good faith.Resource crunch is another impediment, said the second official. “We lack staff in sanitary inspections, factory and licence departments. One person can inspect maximum 20 shops per day but in Mumbai depending on the area ranging from 60 to 200 illegal small scale businesses come up every day. Many a times we don’t even come to know that some businesses start and even closes after few months. Even if we take the owner to court, high court penalises him sometimes with just Rs 500 and the illegal business continues”, he said.BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, who has written to the BMC chief after Monday’s tragedy, said he has demanded inspection at all condiment factories in Mumbai. “It may be true that some politicians don’t allow BMC action, but it is not important at the moment. We have to look forward that such incidences should not occur and innocent should not lose their lives”.

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More than 90% shops in Saki Naka operate without license

More than 90 per cent of the tiny manufacturing units in Khairani Road in Saki Naka are running without the requisite permissions. Officials from BMC’s L Ward said that a majority of the units had recently registered their shops, and were carrying out their business as per their choice without any intimation to the civic body or the concerned department.Even the farsan shop where the fire broke out on Monday was operating without licenses. The shop owner had once registered the shop but had never applied for any other licenses. Over the years, the premises have been used for various purposes from shoe manufacturing to farsan making.According to the records available with the ward office, kerosene oil, diesel, LPG cylinder or any other hazardous substances cannot be stored as the shop owner had not procured licenses for such purposes. However most of these items were stored in the congested area that spiked the fire. Ajitkumar Ambi, assistant commissioner, L Ward confirmed that the shop owner had never applied for a license to store such hazardous materials. The shop also had a wooden chimney for which a separate license is required.The report submitted by the BMC’s fire department has indicated that a short circuit was the main reason behind the fire while hazardous substances stored without requisite licenses fulled the fire further.

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Mumbai: 12 killed as fire breaks out at shop in Sakinaka

At least 12 people were killed and four others critically injured after fire broke out at a shop in Mumbai in the wee hours of Monday.As per primary information, more people are feared trapped in the fire.The shop was located on Khairani road in the Sakinaka area of Mumbai suburban.The fire brigade removed 12 people from the shop gutted in fire and they were taken to Rajawadi hospital where they were declared dead on arrival itself.The disaster management unit has informed that the deceased are not yet identified. The cause of the fire is still unknown. Three fire engines and 4 jumbo water tankers and ambulances are rushed on the spot.The search and rescue operation is in progress.

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