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Six basement malls, halls face the heat

Wiser after Tuesday’s first underground fire that gutted the Satyanarayan Park AC Market, the government on Wednesday decided to slap notices on six basement markets and auditoriums across the city, asking the management to comply with the safety measures recommended by the fire services department, or face “immediate closure”.

“If the managements do not adopt the fire-prevention measures, we shall close these underground establishments immediately,” asserted fire services minister Pratim Chatterjee. The minister said at Writers’ Buildings that a team of experts would inspect the safety measures of these basement markets and auditoriums. “Any violation of the norms will lead to their instant shutdown,” he added.

The West Bengal Fire Services Act, 1950, amended in the last session of the Assembly, empowers his department to take action against those flouting fire-prevention measures, Chatterjee pointed out.

A group of fire brigade officers will visit Treasure Island, on Lindsay Street, AC Market on Shakespeare Sarani and Nandaram market, on the Howrah Bridge approach road, housing basement markets, within the next two or three days. The underground auditoriums at G.D. Birla Sabhagar and Kala Mandir will also come under the scanner.

Notice will also be served on Vardaan market, housing an underground plaza. “We have a lot of complaints against Vardaan market for flouting fire safety rules,” Chatterjee added.

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