The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which initiated the mega demolition drive two days back, has made a decision to adopt a strict stand and not heed to requests by pubs and hotel owners to delay the action in view of New Year celebrations.
In its daily crime report, the police also said the pub's manager and other staff fled from the spot instead of helping the customers injured in the blaze.
Simultaneously, police have issued "look-out notice" to prevent them from leaving the country, while police teams have gone to Pune and other cities to hunt for them, the official said.
Virendra Mishra, deputy commissioner of police zone 3 said, "Since the pubs are located in the Kamala Mills compound where the alleged illegal extension was constructed, its owners have been named in the FIR". Mumbai mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar had said an inquiry had been ordered and strict action would be taken against errant officials.
In addition, the BMC sealed 9,000 sq ft terrace of Sheesha Sky Lounge at Andheri, by demolishing an illegal construction erected on the top.
BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta has already set up 25 teams which will inspect implementation of safety norms at all hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, malls in the sprawling Kamala Mills Compound and other surrounding areas in Lower Parel. "Even if one is going to a crowded restaurant, they should ask the hotel representatives whether there are proper fire exits and fire-fighting measures in place", a fire official said.
Five city officials have been suspended for negligence in connection with the fire, the Press Trust of India news agency reported, without giving further details. "We are also trying to find out whether the burning coal used for hookah at the adjacent restaurant led to the tragedy". It is also speculated that the fire could have started in Mojo's Bistro, where bartenders would regularly put on a show, which involved fire. The housing and urban affairs minister said rampant construction and flouting of fire and safety norms was turning the national capital into tinderbox. Heart goes out to bereaved families. Action was taken against illegal encroachments by the famed Wilson Gymkhana, Islam Gymkhana, Catholic Gymkhana and Parsi Gymkhana on Marine Drive in Mumbai.