BMC says it will need more time to file detailed report into disaster to Lokayukta.
Mumbai: Three months after the Maharashtra Lokayukta M.L. Tahalani directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to submit a detailed inquiry report regarding the fire at Hotel City Kinara in Kurla in October 2015, which claimed the lives of eight students, the BMC’s reply only indicates that four civic officials were suspended in the case following an internal enquiry headed by deputy municipal commissioner Bharat Marathe. The BMC has indicated it will need more time to submit the report following the suspension of the four civic officials from L ward, as the officials have denied the charges against them and the inquiry into the case is still in progress.
The next hearing with the Lokayukta is scheduled to take place of January 24. In September last year, the Lokayukta directed the civic body and the Vinobha Bhave Nagar police station to submit reports of the findings of an enquiry conducted into the Hotel City Kinara fire incident. While the police have submitted a report to the Lokayukta, the BMC is yet to submit its final report to the Lokayukta.
In a letter to the Lokayukta, Mr Marathe has implicated four civic officials of the L ward, including a junior engineer and two health inspectors. The letter has indicated that the four officials were found guilty following an internal civic enquiry, but have denied the charges against them. While the civic body has recorded statements from witnesses, the enquiry to fix responsibility for the incident is still ongoing. The final report of the BMC’s enquiry will be submitted only when the departmental enquiry is completed.
On October 16, a major fire gutted the popular eatery Hotel City Kinara, claiming the lives of eight students from the Don Bosco institute. City-based activists’ group Watchdog Foundation lodged a complaint with the Lokayukta in August 2015. Godfrey Pimenta of Watchdog Foundation said, “The BMC’s reply to the Lokayukta says four civic officials have been suspended, yet it places no responsibility on any individual.”