Kamala Mills fire: 1Above, the lounge devastated in blaze, plans to restart business in plush BKC precinct

The 1Above rooftop lounge bar hit the headlines recently when it was devastated by a fire which began in its premises. However, just two weeks before the fire, the establishment had received possession of a new premises in the prime business precinct Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).

While BKC largely comprises of office buildings, several restaurants and bars are now planning to move there.

Kripesh Sanghvi and Jigar Sanghvi, the owners of 1Above, signed the agreement papers in December 2017 and they are planning to start the 1Above lounge bar before April 2018, sources told Firstpost. The establishment will now be run from an area of more than 10,000 square feet on the ground floor the Trade Centre Building at BKC.

Further, the interiors of the new premises will be designed by the same firm which designed the interiors for the premises at Kamala Mills — Sumessh Menon Associates.

Image procured by Sanjay Sawant/Firstpost

Image procured by Sanjay Sawant/Firstpost

It is also learnt that 1Above has applied for clearance from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) building proposal department. However, a senior official from the H/East ward office (under whose jurisdiction the new establishment at BKC lies) said that following the fire in the Kamala Mills premises, the clearance may not be given by April 2018, by when 1Above hopes to start business there.

Mumbai civic chief Ajoy Mehta is currently conducting an inquiry into the Kamala Mills fire. He is expected to complete his inquiry in one month.

In the past, the establishment had faced demolition actions from civic authorities several times, but rebuilt its illegal structures. The lounge had first opened in the Kamala Mills compound in December 2016. At the time, the Assistant Commissioner of G/South ward (within which Kamala Mills is located) was Bhagyashree Kapse. According to highly placed sources, Assistant Commissioner Prashant Sapkale took charge of the ward  in March 2017. Within six months, Sapkale’s team had demolished the whole unauthorized constructions of 1 above and Mojo's.

Image procured by Sanjay Sawant/Firstpost

Image procured by Sanjay Sawant/Firstpost

Action was taken against 1Above on 2 August, 2017. BMC authorities had at the time found significant unauthorised construction, including an unauthorised toilet, sheds and a wall which was used as partition between 1Above and Mojo's Bistro. However, the demolished structures were soon reconstructed. "There was negligence on the part of Designated Officers, engineers, fire officials and health officials. They were hand in glove with the management of 1Above. This was why the demolished structures were reconstructed," sources said.

Sources also told Firstpost that Sapkale was only the second Assistant Commissioner in the last twenty years who took action against establishments in the Kamala Mills premises. After the fire, he has been transferred to K/East ward.

Firstpost has also learnt that the BMC's health department gave a licence as 'eating house' to 1Above, although it had not received clearance from the building proposal department.

A senior official from the building proposal department said, "In December 2016, 1Above had submitted a plan for starting an office premises. However, we never gave a clearance for a change in user activity from office premises to restaurant. Hence, we did not issue a completion certificate to it."


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Updated Date: Jan 04, 2018 23:49 PM

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