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Mumbai, November 06, 2015: In the wake of the fire disaster at a Kurla eatery in Mumbai, HRAWI, expressing its sympathy, has appealed to the Government to scrap all irrelevant laws so that both the enforcers and the hotels could concentrate on total compliance on all relevant laws and procedures. The industry has complained that it is reeling under a barrage of archaic laws that are unfeasible to comply with and are totally irrelevant.

“For instance, many hotels that have invested heavily in modern fire fighting technology are still required to keep a sand bucket. A sand bucket cannot douse most fires, but if a hotel or a restaurant does not maintain a sand bucket, it can get booked for non-compliance of safety norms. Or take the case of whitewashing a restaurant kitchen, almost all hotel kitchens are tiled, but we still have to provide a certification of white washing,” says Bharat Malkani, President, FHRAI.
 
The hotel industry today needs a whopping 134 licenses and permissions to operate in Mumbai. A large number of the licenses were formulated when the British ruled India. If the 89 year old “Entertainment Licence on Festival Occasions” was framed by the Britishers for controlling a subject nation, “Licence for Chimney under Smoke Nuisance Act” created in 1912 when food was cooked in firewood is completely irrelevant today. The oldest license is “The Eating House Licence” formulated in 1876. Nineteen of the seventy key licences were formulated before 1950.
 
“Hoteliers in Mumbai have a tradition of adhering to maximum compliance. If there were any shortcomings, they were mostly minor oversights like being unable to produce a license on time or practical challenges in adhering to outdated laws. But we can assure our patrons that there wasn’t a single case of violation that had a potential to impact their safety or health. Hoteliers are as serious about safety as anyone else. The owners spend more than 16 hours a day in their restaurants and consequently are at a bigger risk than anyone else. When it comes to health and safety norms, we are very careful,” says Mr. Kamlesh Barot, past President HRAWI.
 
“We want to operate in a system where there are rational licenses, zero ambiguity of laws and clearly defined check list and guidelines provided by enforcing authorities. We wish for a system that works on the principle of accountability and clarity of laws. The Chief Minister’s recent decision to reduce the number of operating licenses to 25 is a step in positive direction. We are hoping that the laws will be rationalized at the earliest,” concludes Mr. Malkani.
Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire) 
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