Thirty-six eateries in south Delhi and 106 in north Delhi are under scanner for allegedly violating fire safety and health norms by serving hookahs under the garb of running a restaurant or pub.
According to documents accessed by The Indian Express, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has issued showcause notices to 36 eateries, of which 20 are in Satya Niketan, where several Delhi University South Campus colleges are located.
“We have received a tip-off that there has been proliferation of eateries that serve hookahs near the South Campus. We have issued showcause notices to 36 — some less than a kilometre from colleges. We will take action if they fail to give an adequate reply in a week. The Delhi Municipal Corporation Act gives us power to seal the premises too,” he said.
Apart from Satya Niketan, seven eateries are in Vasant Vihar, four in Hauz Khas and others are in Masjid Moth and Gautam Nagar.
The Delhi government had banned hookah bars and asked Delhi Police and municipal corporations to cancel licences of restaurants with hookah bars. Hookah smoking is not allowed in smoking or non-smoking zones.
The North body has also intensified vigil by issuing showcause notices to 106 eateries under its jurisdiction for either violating fire safety norms, serving hookahs or running gyms or spas illegally.
A senior official said the civic body checked 326 eateries and 47 gyms or spas, of which fire safety violations were recorded in 38 and showcause notices were served to 106.
Under the DMC Act, the corporation has the power to fine an establishment up to Rs 1,200 or register a court case against it.