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Taking a firm stand against ‘illegal’ use of monsoon sheds by hotels and restaurants in the city, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta has asked all assistant municipal commissioners to take action against establishments that have failed to remove such sheds after October 31 last year. In a circular issued to all 24 administrative offices last week, the civic chief also instructed the officials to stop issuing further permissions to such violators. “Certain properties are using monsoon sheds for commercial purposes, while others have constructed a shed higher than the permissible height of 1.5 metre,” the circular had stated.
The ward-level officials were further instructed to issue show cause notices and grant a week’s time to remove the ‘illegal’ sheds. Assistant Municipal Commissioner of K Westward Prashant Gaikwad said while around 20 notices have already been issued, the total count of restaurants and hotels who are allegedly illegally using the monsoon sheds has gone upto 60.
According to the civic officials from the K westward office, which includes areas like Andheri West, Juhu, among others, notices have been issued to popular pubs, including Copa, True Tramm Trunk, Sheesha and the restaurant Five Spice.
“Following the directions issued by the civic chief, we have started sending notices to those who have continued to use the monsoon sheds and are serving guests under it without any permission. While ward offices usually take action on a case to case basis, this is first time that the civic body is taking citywide action against the defaulters due to the increased number of complaints of misuse of monsoon sheds,” said Gaikwad. Similarly, BMC officials said, action has also been initiated against five restaurants and pubs, including The Daily, Rajasthan Restaurant, Mini Punjab, Hopscotch and Nerve Restobar.
Sharad Ugade, assistant municipal commissioner (H west ward), said, “We have issued the notices and if they don’t remove the sheds on their own, we will demolish them. To discourage repeated offenders, permission will no longer be granted to them henceforth.”
In south Mumbai, apart from restaurants and pubs, notices have also been issued to hotels and clubs who have either allegedly violated the norms of the permission granted for monsoon sheds or erected them illegally.
According to the BMC, some of the names include Hotel Intercontinental near Marine Drive, Gaylord Restaurant in Churchgate, Bar Stock Exchange and The Bombay Presidency Radio Club in Colaba as well as JB Petit High School among many others.