By I C Naik
On one hand India’s National lawmakers want cooperative membership to take a lead and run their institutions yielding maximum member control but run them in democratic and autonomous manner i.e. “free from authoritative controls”.
On the other hand the management of cooperative housing societies in Mumbai are showing increasing indifference towards matters like preventing measures against risk of fire.
If it wasn’t so, what is the explanation for Mumbai fire brigade’s another notice to a posh cooperative housing society in Cuffe Parade Mumbai for violation of fire safety norms within months of filing a court case against the housing society?
And the Society is one of the richest in terms of HNIs (High Net worth Individuals) being part of its membership and the market value of properties both. This is a recently reported case of 26-storey Jolly Maker-I the abode of people like Subhash Chandra of Zee, the Goenka family, the Patni family and construction magnate Dr A S Maker. Each Sq. ft in this society is reportedly sold at a rate of Rs 1.11 lakh.
On September 15, there was a second fire on the second floor of the building. The blaze was put out in 15-20 minutes and no one was injured. After the incident, the fire brigade inspected the building and found several loopholes in its fire safety apparatus like
1. Cooking was being done in the landing area of the building and
2. The staircase and landing area were cluttered.
3. Water from the fire tank—to which the fire apparatus is connected—was being transferred to the domestic tank when the supply was used up.
In the latest notice issued on September 17, the fire brigade has given the highrise 60 days to rectify the loopholes. If they fail to rectify the violations within the stipulated time, the fire brigade will initiate further action against the housing society.
According to anonymous society member reported the source, after the December incident, they have rectified the entire system and have also appointed a private agency that has accreditation from the fire brigade to conduct audits and maintain the apparatus. The members added that “The fire tank is always full, even the swimming pool supply is connected to the fire tank. Only recently, there was a full-fledged fire audit and the report was submitted to the fire brigade.
Dec 2, 2012 | A major fire breaks out on the 19th floor of the B wing of Jolly Maker-1 tower in Cuffe Parade. On finding out that the highrise does not have the mandatory fire fighting apparatus, the fire brigade initiates prosecution against the housing society under the Fire Prevention and Safety Act. The court case is still going on.
PUNISHMENT | If the society doesn’t rectify the violations pointed out by the fire brigade, the BMC will move court. The society can be slapped with a fine of Rs 30,000 to Rs 1 lakh. Those responsible for fire safety can also be imprisoned for 6 months to 3 yrs.