Politicians from across parties on Sunday attacked each other over the Kamala Mills fire incident with each trying to place the blame at the other’s door.
The BJP and the Congress crossed swords first after BJP city chief Ashish Shelar said that the fire was due to faulty policy of the former Congress government.
Shelar said, “When Ashok Chavan was chief minister of Maharashtra, the Congress government allotted additional FSI (Floor Space index) in the name of setting up Information Technology parks on mill lands (such as Kamala Mills). But after construction, not a single company came up there. Instead, illegal hotels were set up and state lost revenue ofat least Rs 500 crore.”
This was refuted by Chavan who in a statement said that the allegations had been leveled to hide the corrupt practices of the BJP-led state government and the BMC.
“The state had a policy to give facilities for IT parks. If someone is misusing it, then it is the state’s responsibility to initiate action. Why did the BJP-led Maharashtra government not take any action against erring companies” Chavan asked in the statement.
“The state and civic officials who sheltered such illegal structures are real culprits and hence such a tragic accident took place,” Chavan added.
BJP MP Kirit Somaiya released a letter asking BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta to review the policy of having rooftop restaurants in the context of the Kamala Mills fire.
Shiv Sena youth wing chief Aaditya Thackeray is a votary of the rooftop policy and Somaiya’s letter was an apparent dig at the Sena.
BJP MLA Ameet Satam today addressed a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis claiming that the rooftop policy was passed by the BMC commissioner without the proposal being tabled in the BMC.
“The rooftop policy was passed in BMC without tabling it in the general body and the BMC commissioner approved it under his authority, which is undemocratic. It is difficult to understand as to what was so urgent about it and under whose pressure was it done. The recent incident exposes the loopholes in the policy and is hazardous from the angle of safety,” Satam said.
Satam claimed that as many as 131 people have lost their lives due to BMC negligence in 2017 in incidents like the Kamala Mills fire, illegal constructions in Ghatkopar, tree falling, and a doctor getting washed away due to an open manhole during floods.
Meanwhile, Congress MLA Nitesh Rane, a staunch opponent of the Sena, tweeted a photograph claiming a hotel in Mumbai had repaired the parts which were demolished.
He alleged that the civic body’s demolition drive following the fire was just an eye-wash.
Union minister for social justice Ramdas Athawale demanded a thorough inquiry into the fire.