Ban­quet halls in N Delhi flout li­cence rules

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

New Delhi: A large chunk of mar­riage and ban­quet halls in North Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion’s ju­ris­dic­tion are op­er­at­ing with­out health trade li­cences and many con­tinue to do so even af­ter be­ing booked for unau­tho­rised con­struc­tion, doc­u­ments from the pub­lic health depart­ment show.

The depart­ment, in a re­ply to a stand­ing com­mit­tee query, stated that it has 88 ban­quet halls op­er­at­ing un­der its six ad­min­is­tra­tive zones. Out of th­ese, ev­ery third or fourth hall does not pos­sess any health trade li­cence to op­er­ate. “Of the 37 halls in Ke­shavpu­ram zone, 13 don’t have trade li­cence. While there are five halls in Civil Lines, three of them don’t pos­sess any li­cences. Sim­i­larly, of the 30 mar­riage halls in Karol Bagh, eight do not have health trade li­cences to op­er­ate,” the doc­u­ment un­der­signed by ad­di­tional mu­nic­i­pal health of­fi­cer states.

Se­nior cor­po­ra­tion of­fi­cials said that many of th­ese vi­o­lat­ing units have ap­plied for health trade li­cence, which is un­der process while two have been is­sued with clo­sure no­tice. How­ever, of­fi­cial could not ex­plain how th­ese units have con­tin­ued to op­er­ate with­out a le­gal li­cence un­til now.

More sur­pris­ingly, around 20% of th­ese halls are also booked for unau­tho­rised con­struc­tions by the build­ing depart­ment of the civic body. Th­ese units are lo­cated in ar­eas like Civil Lines, Lawrence Road, GTK Road and Ke­shavpu­ram ar­eas. “Two units in Udyog Na­gar have been booked for unau­tho­rised con­struc­tion pro­vi­sions, while two other units lo­cated in Naraina In­dus­trial Area of Karol Bagh zone also fall un­der this cat­e­gory,” the doc­u­ment states.

The largest num­ber of op­er­a­tional ban­quet halls booked for il­le­gal con­struc­tions are lo­cated in Ke­shavpu­ram zone.

Vikas Goel, the op­po­si­tion stand­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber, al­leged that al­low­ing such units to op­er­ate is a clear case of cor­rup­tion. “How can th­ese halls op­er­ate un­der the noses of of­fi­cials with such open il­le­gal­ity? Surely money is ex­chang­ing hands for let­ting them op­er­ate with­out nec­es­sary li­cences,” Goel al­leged.

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