January 12, 2018
Christina George (1114 articles)
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After The Kalasipalya Bar Fire The BBMP Wants To Revamp Fire Safety Rules

After a blaze in a bar in Kalasipalya claimed five lives last week, the BBMP now wants to revamp licencing rules, with a separate focus on fire safety for hotels, bars, and restaurants.

“We want to bring in rules to cover all kinds of eateries, including bars and restaurants,” said M N Reddi, director general of fire and emergency services department. “Consultations with stakeholders are under way.”

Following the Kalasipalya blaze, it dawned on the government that there is a lack of clarity on who could crack down on establishments and buildings in case of violations. At present, the role of the fire department is limited to issuing a no-objection certificate to highrises housing resto bars. Based on this NOC, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) issues trade and restaurant licences, while the excise department issues liquor vending licenses.

Liberal Rules Ignore Safety Violations

“There is a need to revamp the present system where disparate entities are at work and the process of monitoring and enforcement is lost in labyrinthine bureaucracy,” said A Mujahid Pasha, chairman of BBMP public health committee. “We are looking at an integrated system. These issues will be discussed at the next BBMP council meeting.”

While the BBMP has cracked down on rooftop pubs and eateries after the Kamala Mills fire, the Kalasipalya fire has opened their eyes to new problems. “The present rules are a little liberal as it focuses only on two aspects,” Pasha said. “Before issuing a licence, the authorities only have to check whether the establishment is located in a commercial zone and if the approach road is at least 40ft wide. But this is not enough. Other safety factors will have to be included in the rules.”

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Christina George

Christina George

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