Mumbai pub fire: Hema Malini blames high population, wants limit imposed

BJP MP Hema Malini
Reacting to the massive fire at a rooftop pub in Mumbai which claimed 14 lives, BJP MP Hema Malini on Friday said such accidents occur due to high population and suggested that a population limit should be fixed for each city.

The fire, which also injured 21 people, started after 12.30 am in the '1 Above' pub on the terrace, and spread to Mojo pub on the third floor one level below, said an official of the Mumbai civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

1 Above and Mojo are located in the Trade House Building in Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel area, a popular night spot as well as commercial hub housing several offices including national television channels.

The actor-turned-politician said the accident took place due to negligence of authorities and wondered how could they ignore safety standards before giving permission to run such pubs.

To a query by a TV channel about frequent accidents in Mumbai, she said, "It is because of too much population in Mumbai city.

"Some restrictions should be imposed on population. First of all, each city should have certain population, certain limit. After that they (people) should not be allowed. Let them go to another city, next city," Malini said.

Minister of State (MoS) for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Babul Supriyo said he has spent "half of his life" in Parel area and recalled that just two days before his daughter had gone to Kamala Mills with her friends.

He said stringent action would be taken against those found guilty in the incident.

BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said he had asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BMC commissioner to order a special fire audit of all such pubs and hooka parlours in Mumbai.

"Several such establishments at the mills compound are illegal, part of which was regularised lately. The place where the blaze took place was illegal," he claimed.

Stating that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials were "responsible for the murder of people" in the Kamala Mill fire, Somaiya pointed out this was second such incident in 15 days.

"When will BMC wake up?", he asked.

On December 18, at least 12 workers were killed and one injured when a massive fire broke out at a snack shop in Sakinaka-Kurla area in Mumbai.

"Kamala mill, Raghuvanshi mill, Maatulyaa mill, Toddi mills, Phoneix mill complexes have such huge illegal structures. I had requested BMC commissioner to order investigation of all these death traps. Nexus of BMC Mafias/Officials/Restaurant Owners," Somaiya hit out in a tweet.

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