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Plans afoot to remove chimneys from Kalbadevi smith shops

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
By Steffy Thevar

After the fire accident in Kamla Mill compound, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has swung into action all over the city. The corporation has initiated  action against all the Kalbadevi gold and silver smith's chimneys. So far, 65 chimneys have been removed and by the end of March, the corporation plans to withdraw about 700 chimneys.

Three years ago, four officers who were involved in fierce firefighting in Kalbadevi lost their lives. After this accident, the municipal corporation started taking action against the narrow streets, hawkers and unauthorised goldsmiths' chimneys, under  strong opposition by the gold and silver traders. However, the corporation continued the month to month operation. At that time there were 2,200 chimneys in that area and today, there are only about 750 chimneys left. Eventually, the corporation's actions slowed down and the illegal chimneys sprang back to life.

Now after the Kamala mills incident, the civic body has once again decided to take action against these illegal chimneys. Since then, they have cleared 65 chimneys and aim to clear 700 by the end of March. In view of fire safety, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered the corporation to remove these chimneys.

The Municipal Corporation had started the survey in 2013. Now after three years, the civic body has once again started to crack down on these illegal chimneys. The corporation has planned to take action against 700 chimneys in the next one and a half month.

Due to urbanisation through the areas of Kalbadevi, Narayanwadi, Vitthalwadi, Zaveri Bazar, Zanjeer Marg, Poplwadi, Telgalli, Cotton Exchange Mumbadevi areas, most residents shifted to the suburbs and Kalbadevi came to be known as the smith markets. Work on gold, silver and diamond policing started here. However, due to this industry, the residents of the area were forced to suffer due to the rampant air pollution and so this decision will surely bring some relief to the residents here.

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