Hotels and establishments which do not follow the law by keeping fire extinguishers in their premises can become death traps for people in case of fire mishaps, the Bombay High Court said today.
“We may have to pay a heavy price for not undertaking fire safety measures in hotels, establishments and offices in the city,” observed a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka while hearing a petition on the issue.
The bench asked the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to check such practice and state what action they have taken against the erring establishments which do not keep fire extinguishers in their premises.
The court asked the MCGM to file an affidavit in this regard within six weeks, not later than August 31.
Petitioner Dinar Sohani, an advocate, alleged that at least 21 hotels in the city and few other business houses did not have fire-fighting measures in their premises, which is mandatory under the Bombay Shops and Establishment Act.
Most of these hotels are located in Dadar, Santa Cruz, Girgaum, Andheri and Mahim areas of the city, the petition said.
The petitioner also said he had written letters to these commercial and business entities to undertake fire fighting measures, but in vain.
Advocate Sohani said he had also written to the municipal body to take action against these establishments for flouting law by not keeping with them equipment to fight fire as laid down in Bombay Shops and Establishment Act.
The petition further said that most such hotels are located on the ground floor of a building and above them are residential flats. In case of fire, there could be danger to the lives of residents of the building, the petition said.
By not keeping fire extinguishers in premises, these establishments are not only putting the lives of people at a great risk but also there is a tendency among them to flout laws, the petitioner said.