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Flouting of norms continues

Saturday, June 03, 2017
By Raju Vernekar

The Golden Chariot hotel and its sister concern Balaji Grand do not seem in the mood to take permissions of the concerned authorities before carrying out any activities in their premises

While the issue of the suspension of trade license of the Golden Chariot Hotel at Goregon, following a massive fire in December last year is still to be resolved, the Golden Chariot’s sister concern involved in similar irregularities has been continuing despite revocation of its license too.

A huge fire broke out at the Golden Chariot located at the Hub Mall, Goregon East, in December last and the management was accused of carrying out structural changes, in violation of the safety norms. The hotel’s Eating House trade License No. 761434569 was cancelled by the BMC. But, subsequently the Golden Chariot challenged the revocation of license.

After hearing the arguments advanced in the notice of motion, the Principal Judge of the City Civil Court, vide his order dated April 13, 2017, stayed the suspension of the license till June 30, 2017. As such the Golden Chariot has continued with its routine business. Now, the matter is slated to come up for hearing on June 30, 2017.

It maybe recalled, that the application for trade license of the 'Golden Chariot Hospitality Services Private Limited' was rejected by the fire brigade on October 13, 2014, for not producing relevant documents and also due to the discrepancies in the documents. Subsequently, the license was granted to the hotel.

However, it has also come to light that Golden Chariot’s sister concern 'Balaji Grand' located in the same premises, also sails in the same boat. Based on a complaint by the Right To Information (RTI) activists Shaikh Fakruddin Juned and Sulaiman Bhimani, the Divisional Fire Officer (DFO) A V Bangar, vide his letter dated February 12, 2016 had directed 'Balaji Grand' not to carry out trade activities till all the safety norms are implemented. Subsequently the BMC’s Assistant Commissioner (P South) on December 1, 2016 had issued a show cause notice to 'Balaji Grand' asking why its trade license No. 887353104 should not be revoked.

But according to the complainants Shaikh and Bhimani, “Balaji Grand has been continuing its activities regardless of the action by the BMC and the fire department. The 'Balaji Grand' has obtained the trade license showing the operational area as 188.56 square mtrs, whereas the hotel was using 216 square mtrs area. Besides, it had kept very narrow passage of 2.8 mtrs for patrons to access wash rooms.

The hotel has also erected a loft over the kitchen area without obtaining the approval of the concerned authorities including the fire department, which was highly objectionable from the safety point of view. Also, the kitchen was not provided with a rear exit as per the requirement of the fire department’s No Objection Certificate (NOC) No. FBL/S/409/67 dated April 16, 2009 which was highly objectionable.

When contacted, the Balaji Grand officials maintained that a relevant explanation has been given and the documents are submitted to the concerned authorities. However, according to Shaikh and Bhimani, the stay granted for the Golden Chariot cannot be used as a blanket to cover the irregularities in Balaji Grand.

POSTED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Sulaiman Bhimani
9323642081
sulaimanbhimani11@gmail.com

Link to the news paper http://www.afternoondc.in/city-news/flouting-of-norms-continues/article_196342 

Fire Brigade withdraws clearance to Golden Chariot Restaurant at Hub Mall, Goregaon

Mumbai, 14 March, 2015: Planning to kill yourself and your family after a tasty meal? Go to Golden Chariot Restaurant. Blocked fire-exits and various other dangerous practices makes this restaurant at Goregaon's Hub Mall your best bet at achieving a fiery death. Although activists like Shaikh Fakhruddin Junaid, Sulaiman Bhimani and myself have repeatedly pointed it out to Mumbai's Municipal Corporation and Mumbai Fire Brigade, the ability of Golden Chariot to bribe the powers-that-be and also abuse judicial processes has helped it to survive. But orders passed by MCGM and Fire Brigade in 2017 suggest that Golden Chariot's goose is being slowly cooked. After the restaurant finally caught fire on 29th December, 2016 (read newspaper reports here and here), civic authorities are finding it difficult to dodge their responsibility to ensure public safety by sealing it.
Deputy Municipal Commissioner Kiran Achrekar and Deputy Chief Fire Officer V N Panigrahi have ordered the closure and sealing of Golden Chariot. Five days days after the fire, DMC Kiran Achrekar wrote in his remark to the official report, "Ask Dy.CFO to seal the premises for failure in safety measures."
The report indicates that because of the recent fire, the excuse that MCGM's previous notices and orders were subjudice at Dindoshi Court fell apart. Despite the DMC's instructions, the Deputy Chief Fire Officer dragged his feet for two months, but finally he wrote in his official recommendations on 6th March 2017, "...it seems there are discrepancies in the area, encroachment, unauthorized addition / alteration, construction of loft, etc. in the said premise... In view of the above, the NOC/requirement letter issued under no. FBL/S/106/1076 dated 01/11/2006 by this department stands cancelled."
While this is a encouraging, the fine print betrays the reluctance of MCGM and Mumbai Fire Brigade to take actually seal the restaurant. The last line of the CFO's recommendations hints that Golden Chariot may seek an escape route by contacting the MOH-P/S Ward for "fresh remarks from the fire-safety point of view after verifying the above facts". Many municipal and fire-brigade officials appear to have gotten used to getting their share of gold from Golden Chariot. So, public safety isn't exactly a priority. As the wise saying goes, "Apna kaam banta, toh bhaad mein jaye janta."

ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Krishnaraj Rao
9821588114
krish.kkphoto@gmail.com