Many city bars, restaurants vulnerable to disasters
After 14 people were killed in a fire incident in a roof top restaurant in Mumbai during New Years, the Kamrup (Metro) district administration feels that the bars and restaurants in Guwahati are also vulnerable to disasters.
A senior ADC level official of the district administration said, “Many of our teams were monitoring the New Years Eve parties and observed that many bars and restaurants in the city are flouting the safety norms.”
Some bars and restaurants do not maintain basic minimum safety requirements like fire safety provisions, electrical safety equipments and other emergency provisions like emergency exits, the officer added.
The excise superintendent of Kamrup (Metro), Debajit Nath, informed that a show cause notice was served to Hotel Palacio for violating certain safety norms during the New Years Eve.
There are bars and restaurants located at the roof tops of high-rise buildings in the city which do not have any emergency exit facilities during emergencies.
The owners of such establishments give least importance to the safety aspects which puts the guests and visitors in a vulnerable situation, the district administration official said.
A source in the fire & emergency department revealed that most of the bars and restaurants did not obtain any fire safety certificate from the fire department and are operating with licenses procured by bribing the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) and district excise officials.
The source said that the district administration should verify all the fire safety certificates and then allow them to function. Only keeping a fire extinguisher does not fulfil all the required criteria, the source suggested.
Along with fire safety, other safety norms are also being violated by some bars and restaurants. According to a food safety inspector, many bars and restaurants are not following any food safety norms.
Administration to cancel licenses if safety norms not followed
In a notification issued on 2nd January 2018, the deputy commissioner (DC) of Kamrup (Metro) district has asked all the bars and restaurants of the city to submit a safety certificate within 30 days, defaulting which their licences would be suspended or cancelled.
Deputy Commissioner M Angamuthu, in the notification, stated that fire certificate declaring safety measures like functional inbuilt fire installations, functional fire extinguishers and proper exit plan will have to be mentioned.
The bars and restaurants will have to produce electrical safety certificates from the chief electrical inspector cum advisor of the government of Assam.
Updated food safety certificate will have to be submitted from health and family welfare department.
The notification also mandated safety audit of the lifts/elevators of the bars and restaurants located on the upper floors of high-rise buildings.
The DC said that the directions have been issued as per provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Even after the 8 days of the notification being issued, no bar or restaurant has applied for a fire safety certificate, a source in the fire & emergency department revealed.