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No HC relief from demolition to go-karting facility in Kamala Mills

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The Bombay High Court has refused to grant protection from demolition to a go-karting track, bar and restaurant run by Smaash Entertainment Private Ltd at the Kamala Mills compound where a major fire in a pub claimed 14 lives last week.

Justice Sandeep Shinde was on Monday hearing a petition filed by the company seeking protection from the demolition drive undertaken by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) after the December 29 fire incident at the upscale ‘1 Above’ pub.

The company sought protection of three of its structures — a go-karting track ‘Smaash gokarting’, a restaurant and bar namely ‘Verbena’ and a banquet facility called ‘18.99 Latitude’.

The structures are on the fourth floor of a building ‘Trade View’, situated in the Kamala Mills compound in central Mumbai.

Senior counsel S U Kamdar, appearing for the petitioner, informed the court that the civic body had sanctioned for a temporary shed to be built abutting the banquet and the restaurant and it was done in accordance with the sanction plan.

He also told the court that the petitioner was willing to remove any construction that was found to be in excess of the sanctioned area.

However, the court said the petitioner has failed to produce a permission, as contemplated under section 342 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, for raising temporary shed on the fourth floor of the building ‘Trade View’.

“In the given set of facts, the officers of the corporation shall visit the premises – the fourth floor of building ‘Trade View’. If the officers of the corporation find that the area of the temporary shed exceeds that in the sanction plan they shall demolish the same, if not removed by the petitioners already,” the court ordered.

With regard to the go-karting structure, the court said while the sanction plan shows that the area was earmarked for the activity, the petitioners have, however, not produced the permission granted by the civic body for erecting the super- structure which facilitates go-karting.

“Thus, in the absence of any permission for installing super-structure facilitating go-karting activity, I am not inclined to protect the go-karting structure,” Justice Shinde said.

The court also recorded the statement of BMC counsel Anil Sakhare that the corporation has already undertaken corrective steps against the go-karting structure.

The bench has posted the petition for further hearing on January 8.

The BMC yesterday asked the owners of commercial establishments to assess, on their own, if their premises were compliant with all fire safety norms. If they were found non-compliant, they would face action, the civic body said.

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