Kamala Mills fire: Two ‘1 Above’ pub owners nabbed, one still absconding

The Sanghvi brothers, who were on the run since the incident, were arrested from the Andheri area

kamala mills fire

Jigar Sanghvi and Kripesh Sanghvi, ‘1 Above’ pub co-owners wanted in connection with the December 29 Kamala Mills fire that claimed 14 lives, were arrested on Wednesday, police said. | Today’s Paper

The Sanghvi brothers, who were on the run since the incident, were arrested from the Andheri area here, additional commissioner of police S Jaikumar told PTI.

The police had on Tuesday arrested Vishal Kariya, a hotelier, for allegedly giving shelter to the Sanghvi brothers and Abhijeet Mankar — owners of the ‘1 Above’ pub.

ALSO READ: Fix fire safety: 15 measures to prevent Kamala Mills tragedy like situation

The trio has been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and other offences under the Indian Penal Code.

Police had also announced a reward of Rs 100,000 for information about their whereabouts.

Mankar was still absconding.

ALSO READ: Kamala Mills fire to Chennai floods: Why India’s regulations aren’t working

On December 29, a fire had swept through the ‘1 Above’ and adjacent Mojo’s Bistro resto pub in Kamala Mills compound in central Mumbai, resulting in the death of 14 people.

Click here to read → Kamala Mills Fire

Fix fire safety: 15 measures to prevent Kamala Mills tragedy like situation

There is a need to instil responsibility and for stricter laws to ensure effective implementation

kamala mills fire

The recent ghastly fire tragedy that occurred at the Kamala Mills compound in Mumbai should set the alarm bells ringing. This is yet another wake-up call for us to consider the issue of fire safety seriously. | Today’s Paper

Mumbai has witnessed a boom in restaurants, pubs, bars and lounges, with industrial areas being turned into commercial zones. The fire has the potential to grow on the surface area much faster. The biggest challenge is the need to evacuate instantly as the percentage of people in a commercial building is greater.

Once a restaurant is opened, the fire brigade officials visit the premises and give a no-objection certificate (NOC). After that, every year, restaurants renew their licences.

With the development of Tier II and Tier III cities, the growth is immense. There is a need to instil responsibility and for stricter laws to ensure effective implementation. The government should invest more in the education and training of the fire safety departments, especially in the Tier II and Tier III cities.

Fire safety measures to avoid such situations in future:

1. Installation of intelligent high-quality fire detection systems: Most important and the basis of any fire is its detection so that further action is initiated automatically and manually.

2. Intelligent high-quality escape route emergency lighting system for a compulsory escape route(s): Escape routes are becoming a challenge; they must be planned and installed.

3. Adequate fire-fighting systems: Sprinkler systems, hydrant systems, gas suppression systems, leak detection systems, mist systems and many other fire-fighting systems are available and must be employed as per the application.

4. A complete ban on fire jugglery at restaurants, award shows or any event.

5. A complete ban on flammable building material.

Avoidance of flammable fabrics used in curtains, blinds, chairs, sofas and the like.

6. Use of flame retardant paints on the walls.

7. Very strict rule on use of fire retardant cable, its proper laying, use of cable trays, conduits and laying as per the permissible rules of high and low voltage systems.

8. Extensive use of circuit breakers of adequate specifications and load.

9. Extensive use of fire exit doors where applicable and strict no-change policy of these doors on change of interior design.

10. Complete ban on hookah lounges and bars which can cause fire: This is a must as we lack disposal etiquette and this will come after a lot of effort.

11. Strict fire training for building and restaurant staff.

12. Only registered companies should be allowed to install fire-prevention systems. The engineers must have certificated training.

13. More engagement of fire brigade department and OEMs where mutual meetings and training can take place.

14. Very strict maintenance of all fire systems.

15. Linking of main fire alarm systems of the building with the fire detection systems inside office, restaurant premises. It has been observed that the main fire alarm systems are not linked with fire systems in offices of the same buildings and thus there is a huge big disconnect.

Click here to read → Kamala Mills Tragedy

Kamala Mills fire to Chennai floods: Why India’s regulations aren’t working

Year after year, people are dying in incidents that are termed ‘accidents’ but are actually man-made disasters

Mumbai pub fire: How drunken stupor, selfie obsession delayed evacuation

India’s cities – big and small, in the north and south – are sitting around a bonfire of regulations, basic tenets of urban planning and precious human lives. The December Mumbai fire is the latest reminder. We haven’t learnt our lessons from the gruesome Uphaar Cinema fire that killed 59 people and seriously injured 103 people in the national capital in 1997. | Today’s Paper

Here are some of the major fire incidents that took place in the last 14 years. Some places that are frequent victims – temples and firecracker units in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, for example – don’t even come under the strict demographic definition of urban areas.

  • Carlton Towers, Bengaluru, 2010; nine dead, 70 injured.
  • SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar, 2015; 22 dead, 120 injured.
  • Surya Sen street market, Kolkata, 2013; 19 dead, ten injured.
  • Amri (Dhakuria) Hospital, Kolkata, 2011; 73 dead.
  • The Park Street, Kolkata, 2010; 16 dead.
  • Kurla (West), Mumbai, 2015; eight dead.
  • Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, 2004; 83 dead, 27 injured – all school children.
  • Srirangam, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, 2004; 57 dead, 50 injured.
  • Nand Nagri, east Delhi, 2011; 15 dead, 65 injured.
  • The Victoria Park, Meerut, 2006; 65 dead, 81 injured.
  • Paravur, Kollam, Kerala, 2016; 111 dead, 350 injured.
  • Mudalipatti, Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, 2016; 38 dead, 33 injured.
  • Mudalipatti, Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, 2012; 54 dead, 78 injured.
  • Khusropur, Patna, Bihar, 2005; 35 dead, 50 injured.

According to National Crime Records Bureau figures, 17,700 Indians died – 48 people every day – due to fire accidents in 2015. Of those who died, 62% were women. Maharashtra and Gujarat, our two most highly urbanised states, account for about 30% of the country’s fire accident deaths. There is a close correlation between deaths due to fire-related accidents and population density associated with urbanisation.

ALSO READ: Kamala Mills fire: Demolition at 314 sites, 7 hotels sealed in Mumbai

In cities after cities, towns after towns, year after year, Indians are getting killed and burnt in fire incidents. Technically speaking, these are not accidents; they are man-made disasters, manufactured by a mix of half-baked regulations and compromised enforcement machinery and powerful interest groups. They are actually planning-made problems.

This is a classic example of India’s ‘disposal problem’ (a phrase borrowed from historical American foreign policy). Let’s see the usefulness of this concept in our context.

The ‘disposal problem’ refers to how a well-entrenched people, practice or protocol (interest groups, professional cliques, sellers or buyers in a market place, rules, laws, standard operating procedures, institutional matrix, collective mores and folkways, etc.) can end up defeating the very purpose for which it was created in the first place. There is an element of “unintended consequence of purposive behaviour” (Robert K. Merton, 1996).

Click here to Read → Kamala Mills fire