A ruckus broke out during the standing committee meeting at the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on Wednesday, after corporators blamed the civic administration for the fire incident of Sunrise Hospital, Bhandup (West), that claimed eleven lives.
According to the figures presented by Ravi Raja, senior Congress corporator and leader of opposition (LoP) in BMC, the civic body had conducted a fire audit of 1,324 hospitals, of which 663 hospitals were partially compliant with the fire safety measures and 184 hospitals were not fire-compliant. According to the rules, the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) had given the defaulters three months time to rectify its infrastructure and to make it fire-compliant.
"Why doesn’t the administration take action immediately? If a catastrophe happens in those three months, then who is to be held responsible?" questioned Raja during the meeting. Furthermore, he said that BMC should initiate a detailed enquiry on the matter and must give compensation to the kin of the deceased.
Raja's statement was backed by leaders beyond party lines. Prabhakar Shinde, senior BJP corporator and group leader of the party, said that if the administration doesn't initiate a detailed enquiry and penalise those who are guilty, then his party will move the Bombay High Court.
"Last year, 12 people were killed due to low oxygen pressure at Trauma Care hospital, BMC had initiated an enquiry; however, the report is still due," said Vinod Msihra, senior BJP corporator and group leader of party. "Now, if the administration doesn't act as per our demands, then there will be mass agitation," Mishra added.
"I have documents that the engineers of the Building Proposal Department had warned the administration about giving an occupational certificate ,but the civic body paid a deaf ear to its own engineers only," said Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party legislator and corporator from Nagpada.
A day after the fire incident, the civic body had initiated a preliminary enquiry that would be headed by Deputy Municipal Commissioner (DMC) of Disaster Management Prabhat Rahangdale.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, who was present during the meeting on Wednesday said that, after the preliminary report is published, only then can a detailed enquiry be ordered. "The initial enquiry will focus on the safety issues. After the committee produces the report, only then we will be able take a call on whether there is a requirement of specialised investigation on the issue," said Kakani.