The panel proposed that civic officials file a police complaint against a private agency, Pona Corporation, which had allegedly given a false fire audit report
The management of Dreams Mall and Sunrise Hospital failed to take necessary fire safety precautions and must be held responsible for the incident that killed 11 Covid-19 patients, said a BMC-appointed panel in its probe report.
The probe committee of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recommended cutting the water and power supply of the mall and filing a criminal case against the owners and directors of the commercial establishment and Sunrise Hospital.
The panel proposed that civic officials file a police complaint against a private agency, Pona Corporation, which had allegedly given a false fire audit report.
It said the agency had submitted a report saying that the firefighting equipment of the mall was operational, and all compliances were made for the period between July 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
However, on the day of the fire, none of the firefighting equipment was working, it noted.
The panel proposed a departmental probe against assistant divisional fire officer Rajendra Ghadge, who had issued a notice to the mall for non-compliance with the fire safety system in November 2020 but later on accepted compliance documents submitted by the establishment without physical inspection.
It also recommended a departmental inquiry against the then chief fire officer (administration) Shashikant Kale for violating a fire brigade orders.
According to the 2018 order, a notice issued to any establishment for non-compliance with fire safety norms should be signed by the chief fire officer.
The panel said Kale had orally asked officers to send notices with their signatures without taking approval from the municipal commissioner, which was a violation of the 2018 order.
The probe report, submitted last week, was accepted by Mumbai municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal on Tuesday. He directed authorities concerned to submit an action taken report on the panel's findings within a month.
A massive fire broke out on 26 March at the Dreams Mall which was being used as a Covid hospital by Sunrise Hospital.
It took the fire brigade more than 12 hours to douse the flames. Eleven patients, who were being treated on the third floor, died in the fire.
Subsequently, a panel was formed by the BMC to look into the causes of the incident.
With inputs from agencies.
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