The Villaggio mall will be given permit to reopen for business as soon as its ventilation, fire alarm systems and safety measures are fully compliant with the official requirements, a senior Civil Defence Department official has said.
The mall was shut on May 28 after a fire in which 19 people, including 13 children, died. The shopping complex, which was a major tourist attraction has remained closed, since then.
Major Hussein Aman al-Ali, head of media and preventive education section at the Civil Defence Department (CDD), told local Arabic daily Al Sharq that as soon as the tests conducted by the mall’s management and the CDD are passed, a permit will be given for its reopening.
However, in case of failure of any tests conducted of the systems, the opening will be delayed until the issue is completely addressed, he said. Major al-Ali said that the CDD is keen to reopen the shopping mall as soon as possible, but it is also keen to ensure that it complies 100% with safety standards.
He stressed that no permit to reopen the complex will be granted before that target is met. Al Sharq reported that people were surprised when they reached the Villaggio on Wednesday, as there were unconfirmed reports that it would reopen on August 15, but found its gates closed and security personnel denying them entry.
Taking the safety lapses at the mall seriously, the government had set up a committee to study the causes that led to the fire. After the Cabinet studied the recommendations of the committee, it was decided to form a panel comprising officials of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, Ministry of Business and Trade, and Kahramaa to implement the recommendations.
HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani had asked the Cabinet to work on implementing the recommendations of the committee as soon as possible. Work to upgrade the safety and security features at the mall has been going on for the last several weeks. The shopping complex houses a large number of showrooms and eateries.
source: Gulf Times
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