The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) undertook a demolition drive at Pali Naka yesterday and pulled down the front portions of prominent restaurants such as Eat Thai, Suzette, Irish House etc. The miffed restaurant owners claimed they were not given any prior intimation but civic officials said that since the portions were illegal, a prior notice was not required.
BMC demolishes the front portion of Suzette yesterday.
The drive was undertaken by the BMC’s H-west ward at Pali Naka. About 10 illegal stalls on footpaths, 15 illegal boards and five open area shed swere demolished. Among the encroachers were prominent restaurants like Eat Thai, Suzette, Busago, Papa Pancho and Irish House. The BMC said restaurants had put up canopies outside, which were pulled down by the officials.
Eat Thai’s air conditioner stand and a portion of its wall was demolished along with the illegal canopy. The owner claims the BMC took away a computer and a motorcycle as well.
“The restaurant was in service when they (BMC) came in and asked for a license (for the canopy). Soon after, they pulled it down along with a portion of the wall, the air conditioner and the gate.
I’m not saying the canopy was not illegal, but it was a temporary, retractable one. Had they given us a notice, we would have removed it ourselves,” said Eat Thai owner Ashish Sajnani .
Sajnani also claimed that the officials took away a computer and a delivery motorcycle.
“When my men went there to claim these, they said the computer is not to be found and asked me to file a missing complaint with the police. I am going to do that tomorrow. They have also asked for a Rs 7,000 fine for the motorcycle since it was kept in the encroached portion,” he said. The BMC has denied taking away the computer and has asked Sajnani to contact the licence department for the motorcycle.
Calling the drive legitimate, Rajesh Yadav, assistant engineer (maintenance) of H-west said, “We had checked the documents of these establishments and found the canopies to be illegal. In such cases, there is no need to
give a notice. Similar action will be taken in other parts of the ward tomorrow.”