B-Town sad, shocked over Mumbai pub fire

Mumbai, Dec 29 (IANS) Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit on Friday rued the “apathy of the system”, while film actors like Ajay Devgn and Rajkummar Rao expressed condolences following the tragedy in which a fire engulfed a pub and other establishments here, killing 14 people and injuring several others.

According to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Disaster Control, the blaze reportedly broke out around 12.30 a.m. on Friday from Mojo’s Bistro, a rooftop restaurant in The Kamla Trade House, a posh business-cum-entertainment hub in Lower Parel area of south-central Mumbai.

Pandit went on a Twitter rant, sharing his despair about repeated human tragedies due to lack of fear of law, and lashed out at BMC officials for being “corrupt”.

“Such incidents happen because of the corrupt BMC officials and other departments. They first allow illegal constructions and illegal cooking, after taking bribes. None of them fear the law because they know they will go scot-free.

“Citizens of Mumbai have been fighting against illegal usage of gas cylinders on streets by illegal eateries, but have failed because the BMC officials are regularly paid. We then wait for human tragedies like these to happen and FIRs to be filed against the owners.

“This is not the first time that such a human tragedy has occurred. We have lost so many innocent lives, but nothing has changed. It just boils down to becoming headlines for a few hours, till it happens again at another location,” Pandit wrote.

He demanded that “all those BMC officers responsible for the illegalities in Kamla Mills compound are accountable for this tragedy and should be punished”.

“There’s massive corruption, especially in the Fire Department of the BMC. NOCs and clearances are given by them to illegal restaurants, buildings which we know is not right.

“Citizens who complain are not heard. They tire you by not acting against the complaints so that you stop complaining. A similar accident happened in Saki Naka recently. The city is on a volcano due to the apathy of the system,” he added and rued that “nobody responsible for the Kamla Mills fire will be punished… Inquiries will remain in files.”

Here’s what other celebrities had to say:

Ajay Devgn: My heart goes out to all those affected by the Kamla Mills tragedy. Prayers and thoughts.

Rajkummar Rao: Very sad to know about fire in Kamla Mills. My heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of all who lost their lives in the fire.

Farhan Akhtar: Saddened to read about the fire at Kamla Mills and the loss of life. Condolences to all families affected. Safety regulations in our city have to be strengthened and adhered to.

Patralekhaa: Gutted to hear about the fire that broke out at Kamla Mills and the lives that were lost. Condolences to the families.

Siddhartha Basu: Terrible to hear of the London Taxi fire and the tragic loss of lives. With such a high density of restaurants and offices at Kamla Mills and the like, they’re sitting ducks for disasters, without stringent safety measures and enforcement.

Neil Nitin Mukesh: Extremely sad to hear about the massive fire that broke out last night at Club Mojo in Kamla Mills. My condolences with the families who lost their loved ones.

Gautam Rode: Saddened and shocked by the fire in Kamla Mills. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families in this moment of grief. Pray for a speedy recovery of those injured.

Jackky Bhagnani: Deeply saddened to hear of the horrific fire at Kamla Mills Compound. It could be any one of us. My heart goes out to the families. May God give strength to the families to bear this loss.