The corporators of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Standing Committee (SC) on Wednesday, demanded a sub-committee be formed that would carry out a detailed probe into the Sunrise Hospital fire incident that claimed the lives of nine people.
During the meeting, the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) had tabled a four-page reply to the committee giving out preliminary findings of the fire incident. The MFB in its reply said that the call was made an hour after the fire broke out and that the hospital structure was not fire compliant. However, corporators referred back the report, saying a special investigative panel should probe into the matter and the panel should be headed by a retired chief justice.
A day after the fire broke out, the civic body had ordered a preliminary fire investigation into the incident. The investigation is headed by Prabhat Rahangdale - Deputy Municipal Corporation - Disaster Management and former Chief Fire Officer (CFO) and the panel had been given a fifteen-day timeline to produce its findings.
Rais Shaikh - corporator and legislator from the Samajwadi Party said that former municipal commissioner - Praveen Pardeshi had given permission to the hospital management over WhatsApp and no physical survey was conducted.
"The BMC Building Proposals department had written to the civic body back in October urging the administration to revoke the OC of the hospital, but the administration didn't take any stand," said Shaikh during the meeting
"The incumbent municipal chief is equally responsible for the incident as he didn't initiate an enquiry in the past six months," he added.
Ravi Raja, senior Congress corporator and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the BMC said that municipal commissioner - Iqbal Singh Chahal should come in front of the committee in the next meeting or else the members will boycott the meeting.
"The municipal chief needs to come in front of the committee and respond to the public representatives," said Raja during the meeting.
"It was only after the last standing committee meeting, the civic administration reacted and revoked the occupational certificate of the hospital," he added.
"The DMC who has been given charge of the preliminary enquiry was then incumbent CFO when Fire NOC was issued to the hospital administration," said Rakhi Jadhav - senior NCP corporator and leader of the party in BMC.
"BMC immediately needs to form a sub committee or else we will understand the preliminary enquiry is just an eyewash," Jadhav added.
Earlier additional municipal commissioner - Suresh Kakani had said that a detailed probe will only be possible after Rahangdale presents the report of his findings.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Rahangdale told FPJ that it will take his team at least one more week to present the report.
"We were given fifteen working days to present the report and our timeline isn't complete yet, we are cross-examining our findings and will submit the report after one more week," Rahangdale told FPJ