The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, which has been charged around Rs 6.92 crore for occupying a part of south Mumbai’s roads and pavements for security arrangements, will be asked to pay the amount immediately. mid-day had last reported on April 19 on this issue.
The BMC wants the barricades outside Taj to be removed immediately. File pic
After the 26/11 terror attacks, the city police had appealed to all major hotels to take security measures, that included placing barricades in front of their buildings to restrict the flow of people. But since the barricades took up portions of public footpaths, the civic body decided to levy road occupancy charges from these 5-star hotels.
Another star hotel, Trident, which was levied user charges of Rs 16 lakh for similar illegal activity, has paid Rs 14.76 lakh, Minister of State for Home and Urban Development, Ranjit Patil, told the legislative council on Tuesday. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had slapped penalties on the two hotels earlier this year.
“Taj Mahal Hotel has not paid the charge so far (as on July 21, 2015). The hotel will be served a final notice for paying Rs 6,91,80,937,” Patil said in reply to a calling attention notice from a Congress MLC, Anant Gadgil.
The legislators wanted to know the action taken against star hotels, malls and private companies in Mumbai and Pune, which have converted roads around their properties into no-parking zones and blocked pavements.
Patil said that on June 18, the BMC had directed the Taj Mahal Hotel, to remove barricades and stone structures on the road and pavements within 15 days of the diktat, because these arrangements were blocking vehicular traffic and pedestrian movement.
“The BMC told the hotel that the civic authorities will remove blockages in case the hotel management failed in doing so,” the minister said, adding that Hotel Trident had already cleared the road and pavement, but it was allowed to place barricades as a safety measure.