Kamala Mills Fire: Fire Insurance Not Paid by Building Owner

Fire insurance policy for the two-storeyed building had expired on 13 Nov 2017 and was renewed on 4 January 2018.

2 min read
The building which caught fire in Kamala Mills did not have valid fire insurance at the time of the tragedy.

Ramesh G Gowani, owner of the building in Kamala Mills which was gutted in fire on 29 December claiming 14 lives, had not paid fire insurance for the structure, reported Firstpost.

This comes after the owners of the 1 Above and Mojo’s Bistro, from where the fire allegedly sparked, were sent to police custody.

The report said that the records obtained by the media house show that the fire insurance policy for the two-storeyed building, where both the pubs are located, had expired on 13 November 2017 and was renewed only on 4 January 2018. According to the report, the old policy only covered the building and not burglary, money in safe(including money in transit) and public liability.

The Firstpost report says although the insurance amount for 2017 was Rs 10, 21,313, the owners renewed their fire insurance from TATA AIG for Rs 12.5 lakh plus GST in 2018.

Fire insurances for two other properties owned by the Gowanis – Kamala House Kamala Mills and Pepeyon Enterprises Private Limited in Victoria Mills – had also lapsed and were renewed together with Kamala Mills Limited, where the family holds majority of the stakes, a week after the fire, according to the Firstpost report.

Mumbai head of TATA AIG Preeti D’Silva confirmed the news of the building not being insured at the time of fire and said:

The insurance policy expired in the month of November but they (Gowani family) did not update the policy. On 4 January, we insured the property under our company as they paid the insurance policy amount.

As per the report, she also added that the company is not liable to adhere to any claims related to the fire since the building was not insured at the time of the tragedy.

The building in which the fire took place was worth Rs 325 crore. The premises in the building have been rented out to private banks, media houses, hotels, cafés and bars. Despite this, they did not pay the insurance amount
A senior official from TATA AIG told Firstpost.

The tragedy had spurred the municipal corporation BMC into action which carried out demolitions and inspections of seevral illegal constructions in the city. On 8 January, the municipal chief Ajoy Mehta asked restaurant and hotel owners to strictly follow rules related to fire safety at their establishments.

The Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) had, following the devastating fire, issued a 14-point circular laying down fire safety norms to 8,000 member-establishments in the city.

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