Fire safety violations prompt action against 243 rooftop restaurants in Bengaluru

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In a recent development, the Fire and Emergency Services Department has identified 243 rooftop establishments, inclusive of pubs, bars, and hookah bars, in Bengaluru that have transgressed fire safety regulations and licensing stipulations. Details of this have been reported by The Hindu.

Details of the violations

The Fire Department embarked on an inspection spree of such eateries on October 19.

This action came a day after a blaze at the Mudpipe cafe located on the fourth floor of a building near the Forum Mall in Koramangala.

The investigation exposed that the establishment hadn’t procured a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Fire Department.

In addition, it was in breach of the terms set by the trade license extended by the civic authority.

Contrary to the provisions of the permit, which allowed only food catering, the cafe was also offering hookah services.

Response from the officials

A senior fire officer remarked to The Hindu: “After conducting a survey of the rooftop establishments across the city, we have found 243 restaurants violating fire safety rules and other norms.

“As these establishments should be dealt with stringent action, the list has been shared with the BBMP.”

Additionally, it was shared that the list was communicated to BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath, who in response, passed it on to the Chief Engineer.

The latter will consequently relay the particulars to the pertinent authorities to undertake remedial measures.

Moreover, a senior health official noted the Health Department’s anticipation of receiving the information.

Once obtained, the department will implement necessary actions.

Concurrently, the BBMP has been proactively administering its corrective initiatives. K.V. Trilok Chandra, the BBMP Special Commissioner, mentioned the possibility of overlapping data related to the flagged establishments and those previously identified by the BBMP.

“We will go through the list to avoid any overlap,” he declared.

Historical context of the fire safety violations

According to the BBMP’s records, the civic body has already shut down 60 establishments, encompassing pubs, hotels, and rooftop cafes. They have also issued more than 200 notices.

Post the health department acquiring this novel list, a separate crackdown on offending rooftop venues might be launched.

Notably, a previous clampdown on rooftop restaurants occurred in 2018, following the tragic December 2017 Kamala Mills Fire in Mumbai where 14 individuals lost their lives.

Even though stringent measures were undertaken post this tragedy, the recent fire incident in Koramangala underscores the persistent challenge.

IFSJ Comment

The safety of the public in hospitality venues remains paramount.

The repeated incidents of fire, especially in rooftop establishments, highlight the critical need for stringent fire safety measures.

While previous efforts have been made to address these concerns, the recent revelations indicate that more rigorous, consistent, and comprehensive actions are essential.

Ensuring strict adherence to safety norms is not just about following rules, but about safeguarding lives.

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