The Navi Mumbai fire brigade recently served a notice to Vashi Plaza in sector 17, one of the city’s oldest commercial complexes.
The notice was issued to the shopping complex for not adhering to fire safety norms and not taking the biannual fire NOC from NMMC. This is hazardous to the over 500 shops and offices in the four wings of the complex.
On Tuesday, there was a major concrete slab collapse on the first floor of the A wing , raising concerns about the safety of its occupants.
Fire chief P Gadhe said, “None of the fire fighting systems in Vashi Plaza are in working condition. Also, the air-conditioners and electrical cables have been improperly installed within the complex. We have sent out the warning notice to the Vashi Plaza cooperative society, and may take stern action unless corrective measures are taken.”
One of the shop owners said that the plaza is nearly 30 years old, and not much renovation work has been undertaken. “There are cracks on the walls, water leakages and also slab collapses. The owners have to agree to pay for the repairs and other fire-fighting works. Else, the civic body may take strict action on us,” he added.
It is found that there were hardly any fire hydrants visible, except for one on the ground floor. The ACs installed in the corridors also blew out hot air.
The society secretary of Vashi Plaza, Anil Kumar Mate acknowledged receiving the fire notice. “Our society is trying to resolve the issue at the earliest. With regard to the ACs facing the corridors, we are trying to find a solution, so that they do not pose a fire threat to the complex.”