Mumbai: All old SRA buildings will have fire escapes, says authority

The CEO of Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), Satish Lokhande, has promised an audit of fire prevention systems in all SRA buildings in the city as well as installation of metal grill staircases to be used as fire escapes. Speaking to mid-day, Lokhande said, “We have issued orders to install fabricated metal grill staircases in all old SRA buildings which are either seven-storeys or higher, to make rescue operations in future even quicker. The municipal commissioner will be auditing the fire prevention systems across all SRA projects in Mumbai.”

He added that the SRA building that caught fire in Goregaon would have a structural and electrical wiring audit immediately. “The developer will be notified to repair all damages and restore water and electricity supply to the building post the audit,” Lokhande said.

On Monday, MNS president of Andheri Vidhan Sabha, Manish Dhuri along with his associates held a silent protest at the SRA office in Bandra East on Monday accusing SRA officials of being the cause of death of residents in the fire at Jay Bhavani SRA building in Goregaon west.

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has alleged that Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) buildings are a mess, and built without accountability. MNS demanded fire audits in such buildings and investigations into the non-transfer of SRA officials who have been holding posts beyond tenure. 

As it was recently Mahatma Gandhi Saptah, Dhuri and his associates, along with a person portraying the Mahatma, gathered at the SRA office. A letter addressing the concerns of Dhuri and the rest was handed to Lokhande.

During the protest, Dhuri accused SRA officials of negligence, which, in his view, contributed to the devastating fire incident. He demanded a thorough investigation into the matter, emphasizing the need to hold those responsible for any lapses accountable.

In addition to demanding accountability, Dhuri called for a comprehensive survey of fire prevention plans and electrical wiring systems in all SRA buildings in Mumbai.

MNS protest warning

Dhuri also alleged that many officers in the SRA office had surpassed their tenure of service in their current positions. He called for their immediate transfer, underlining the importance of introducing fresh perspectives and ensuring accountability within the SRA administration.

Dhuri said, “According to us, 20-25 officers from the SRA office have completed their term of office and should be transferred but we are not sure why their transfer orders are not released. 

We have demanded a list of such officials from the authorities in a week’s time and are urging senior officials to take action against such people at the earliest.” He also warned the officials saying, “We have given an ultimatum of 8 days to give a written response in the matter. if the authorities fail to do so, the next protest will be MNS style.”

On the matter of transfers, Lokhande said, “SRA has no powers to issue any transfer orders. All officials are on government deputation and the final say in transfer of officials is in the hands of the government.” 

No. of people killed in the fire at Jay Bhavani building

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