Former corporator Vitthal Nana Kate is urging decisive measures against establishments in Pimpri Chinchwad that are functioning beneath residential structures, following a series of unfortunate incidents.
In a recent tragic event on Rakshabandhan day (August 30th), a family of four lost their lives due to a fire that erupted in Sachin Hardware and Electricals Shop located in Purna nagar, Chinchwad. This incident echoes a previous occurrence where Sarada Cloth Center, an in-house apparel store at Jaihind Chowk near Mhalsakant Chowk in Akurdi Pradikaran, saw the loss of an elderly woman’s life in a fire on February 23, 2021.
Nana Kate, ex corporator, Pimple Saudagar has formally appealed to Shekhar Singh, Commissioner of Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), for stringent actions to safeguard the wellbeing of families dwelling in the “Neeche Dukan Upar Makan” (Shop Below, House Above) arrangements prevalent in various areas across Pimpri Chinchwad city.
Numerous 18-feet-high shops have sprung up throughout the city, and these structures often feature makeshift attics that out-of-state families utilize for residential purposes. The attics offer convenient living spaces, allowing occupants to reside close to their business establishments and avoid separate residential rents. However, this “Neeche Dukan Upar Makan” arrangement has become a cause for concern, especially during emergencies, as it potentially jeopardizes the safety of residents.
In certain instances, shop workers are encouraged to occupy these spaces as makeshift residences to protect the shop premises. Similar incidents have been recorded in Pune city, where workers lost their lives in fires that erupted in garment shops.
In light of these circumstances, Nana Kate emphasizes the urgent need for the PCMC to take immediate action against unauthorized constructions and misuse of such places.