The BMC is coming up with a ‘risk-based system’ to ensure fire safety norms are followed in Mumbai. Under its new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for fire safety and compliance in all residential and commercial structures, BMC’s main focus is on the permission-granting authorities, followed by inspections and actions against defaulters. The new SOP will be ready in the next 15 days.“In the risk-based system, authorities who grant permissions are decided on the basis of size of structure. If the structure is big, only a high-level officer will have authority to grant permission. The hierarchy is being decided not only considering the size but also risks involved in the structure,” Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta told DNA. After the Kamala Mills fire incident on December 29, the civic body formed a new Fire Safety and Compliance cell. The cell, which has 34 nominated fire brigade officials, have been given the authority to not only inspect but also take action against defaulters as per Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006 which includes prosecution. “It is a historic decision in the civic body to divide the fire brigade. The officers will have authority to take action against fire safety defaulters which includes demolition and sealing properties. For effective action, strength of the officers also needs to be increased and we are working on that,” Mehta said. Meanwhile, the BMC this month started a drive against restaurants and hotels violating fire safety norms. The BMC has inspected 5,469 commercial establishments, of which 62 are sealed and over 1,000 faced demolition action.The establishments include hotels, restaurants, pubs, gymkhanas, godowns, cinema halls and industrial units.

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BMC to now focus on risk evaluation of buildings