Kamala Mills Tragedy

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The massive fire in a restaurant in Mumbai that led to the death of 14 people was an extremely unfortunate incident, and underscores the deteriorating state of infrastructure in the city. The restaurant was located in the Kamala Mills compound. Some decades ago, the mills in Central Mumbai were closed, and while these premium plots should have been converted into public parks and gardens to ease congestion, they were, instead, sold and converted into shopping malls, restaurants and offices.

Today, the Lower Parel area, in which the Kamala Mills compound is located, has become an urban jungle, with residential buildings, offices, restaurants and premium shops, all in very close proximity to each other, due to the density of the locality. The expansion of business and residential facilities has not been complemented by any improvement in infrastructure. The roads are narrow, with just one operative lane, because the first lane is invariably occupied by taxis and hawkers. In the case of an emergency, it is impossible for an ambulance or a fire engine to get through this road. The footpaths have disappeared due to the widening of the road to accommodate heavy traffic, and due to hawkers selling tea and fast food on the roads. High-tension electricity wires and cables hang loose on many of the poles. The roads and footpaths are littered with stones and bricks, while debris from previous repair work has just been left there.

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Updated On : 5th Jan, 2018

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