Mumbai: Floor plans to adorn Kamala Mills outlets for easy inspection

The committee formed by the civic body to probe the 2017 Kamala Mills fire has recommended displaying approved plans of each building at prominent locations inside the compound.

The Chief Engineer at DP department will likely be asked to charge heavy penalties for regularisation of permissible modifications under the Development Control Regulations. The floor plan of each premises is meant to help designated civic officials, and even ordinary citizens, quickly detect violations and modifications.

The Development Plan (DP) Department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to verify the report's findings with the reality on the ground and send notices for illegal modifications. In addition, the Mumbai Fire Brigade too will begin its inspection drive to revoke No Objection Certificates (NOC) as there were violations observed in areas that were mandated to provide fire safety.

The committee in its report found that 23 per cent of the total area in Kamala Mills is misused or has been added to the official built-up area. The violations are in the form of encroachment and merging of fire passages, fire escape balconies, fire ducts, and common lobbies among others.

A senior official from the DP Department said, "If there are changes in the location of staircases, merging of two offices or even taking flowerbed areas inside, these can be regularised through a hefty fine, but if the fire safety areas that were supposed to be kept free are encroached upon, changes will have to be reversed. If the owners fail to do so, the BMC shall demolish the additions/alterations and slap fines."

At present, there is no mechanism or norm for electrical safety audits for buildings where a large number of electrical appliances and air conditioning units are being used. Therefore, along with the audit of elevators by Public Works Department (PWD) inspectors, an electrical audit of buildings shall also be introduced. Since it does not have a mechanism of its own, the BMC will take the PWD's assistance for the same.