In the Kamala Mills fire incident that caused 14 deaths, the civic authorities were found to be hand in glove with the pub owners turning a blind eye to what is seemingly a death trap. What is your take?

Kamala Mills The Kamala Mills fire tragedy in Mumbai, which claimed the lives of 14 people last week, has prompted the civic administration into action and has led to further investigations, demolitions and arrests; probably the managers employed with 1 Above pub in Kamala Mills. As per the enquiry, the managers fled the incident scene as soon as the fire broke out. They were grossly under-prepared. Though as managers, it was their job to keep the emergency exits open or open them when the fire broke out, but instead the kitchen staff were there helping the survivors escape out of the pub.

As managers, they were responsible for keeping a track of the day-to-day working of the pub that included the fire safety measures, exit and evacuation of patrons in case of any mishap or fire; but they failed to do so at the time of the outbreak. The managers were placed under arrest and charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder under the Indian Penal Code.

This raises serious concern about the sincerity of civic authorities and many such pub owners who grossly violate the fire safety standards and are non-compliant with the building norms. The civic authorities must be agile before passing on such tenders and legalizing such pubs which lack proper safeguards. The materials, exhaust, ventilation and exit should be properly maintained and managed so that in times of such unexpected crisis, people can be conveniently evacuated or find out their way to escape.

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