Banquet halls in N Delhi flout licence rules
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.