Set up a separate committee to conduct safety audits in restaurants in Maharashtra

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Every time I will visit a restaurant from now on I will have a constant fear of being caught in a fire.

14 people, which included mostly youngsters and four mothers lost their lives in the recent fire at a restaurant in Kamala mills.

Most of them were out there just celebrating.. a birthday, an anniversary, an aunt's arrival or simply having a good time with friends and family. Totally unaware of the tragedy that was waiting to happen.

That fateful day it was them, tomorrow it can happen to anyone of us.

All because the authorities failed to act in time!

Despite the BMC claiming to conduct safety audits regularly, why is it that we repeatedly hear of violations, which ultimately result in such unfortunate incidents?

Why are restaurants as well as the building owners not forced to take rules and regulations or the notices issued to them seriously?

I request the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to:

1. To form a separate empowered committee that would regularly conduct safety audits at restaurants in Mumbai and Maharashtra. The committee should consist of representatives from:

  • BMC/other municipal corporations
  • Fire Department
  • Citizens, preferably architects, designers, engineers or any other qualified person

2. The committee should have the power to heavily penalise all restaurants who are found to be violating safety norms. They should also have the power to cancel licenses of restaurants found to be repeat offenders.

3. Once audits are done by this committee, they should mandatorily make the findings public so that a normal customer can make an informed decision on whether or not he or she should visit the restaurant.

It is common knowledge that such auditing processes are caught up in web of inefficiency, callousness and corrupt nexus.

This is not the first time a restaurant has caught fire.

It's high time the authorities step up and start taking their work seriously.

Customer safety is paramount and it should not be at the mercy of these corrupt officials or restaurateurs who have scant regard for both laws and our life.