The Fire To Curb Illegal Encroachment

Mumbaikars, who are known for their trademark resilience in the face of crisis, are making their way back to work, and restaurants are beginning to open doors.

Mumbaikars, who are known for their trademark resilience in the face of crisis, are making their way back to work, and restaurants are beginning to open doors.One way in which the restaurants have tried to pick up the pace once more has been through social media campaigning. “For the next one month, we are expecting 25 per cent of footfall of our usual business. PR professional Khushboo Shah says that several office-goers have started to stay away from Kamala Mills since the fire. Lower Parel houses big companies, which regularly host bashes for their employees. Sanjay elaborates on the safety measures taken at his restaurant, saying, “We’re getting help from Israeli fire experts semi rigid hoses to know what to do in case there is a fire again. Owner Abhayraj Kohli says, “Business has gone down by almost 50-60 per cent.”The only positive to have come out of the entire situation, perhaps, is the fact that restaurant owners are becoming much stricter about fire safety. For instance, we discovered a small ball, which you can throw on the fire, which can kill it. “Big companies are shying away from the area. But it seems to be picking up slowly,” says a Sanjay Shetty, co-owner, London Taxi, which was damaged during the fire. Several demolitions took place in the compound right after the fire to curb illegal encroachment of land.And not just through the fire alone.The end of 2017 saw one of the most devastating fires that the city has had in a few years. Needless to say, the footfall here too, has reduced to a trickle.”While footfall is at an all-time low, restaurant owners are still hopeful. We also lost a major chunk of our business during New Years’ too. However, the recent tragedy still hangs heavy in the air, creating challenges for the restaurateurs who have their property here. We are going an extra mile to educate ourselves. We can’t expect much for a while. Even if our employees quit they will be certified fire-fighters.. Grandmama’s Café had its storefront demolished in one fell swoop. At least a handful of these companies have specifically started moving their parties away from Kamala Mills, and are looking for safer places to throw parties,” she laments. The Kamala Mills tragedy — which took the lives of 14 people, and had a high injury count, has left the area scarred.However, there’s still a long way to go, however, as people are gun-shy when it comes to the compound. “We are continuously making efforts to put out clear communication to our guests via social media and are keeping them informed about our restaurant updates and safety measures,” says Abhayraj, adding, “We also planning a combined activity along with all other affected restaurants in the compound, to gain back the trust of our customers and diners.”Grandmama’s too, is focusing on creating signage posts to ensure that the fire exit is clearly marked — which was an issue at both Mojo’s and 1 Above, when the fire broke out here. The footfall has also had an impact on the employees as it directly affects the staffs service charge and work.