The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will issue a final notice to the Taj Group of Hotels for allegedly encroaching on the public space outside its landmark Taj Mahal Palace Hotel at the Gateway of India, and causing inconvenience to pedestrians and motorists.
Minister of State for Urban Development Ranjit Patil said the BMC has issued the hotel several notices until now slapping penalties, but the company has failed to pay up.
“The penalty amount that the Taj Group of Hotels owes to BMC has accumulated to Rs 6 crore. We will issue a final notice to the company and also file a caveat in the Bombay High Court,” Patil said, responding to a calling attention motion in the upper house by Congress legislator Anant Gadgil.
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Gadgil said, “Citing security reasons after the 26/11 terrorist attack, the Taj Mahal Hotel has occupied the entire footpath in front of the hotel. This causes a lot of inconvenience to pedestrians and leads to a sense of frustration as they have to walk on the road. The government must take action against such malls and hotels encroaching on public spaces.”
Prior to this, the BMC had last sent a notice to the hotel on July 9 giving the company eight days to respond.
“We were in the process of initiating further action after the time granted to the company to reply lapsed. We will take further action as per the directions of the state government,” said a senior official from the BMC’s encroachment department.
Earlier, the civic body had also sent a notice to Trident at Nariman Point for allegedly encroaching on the footpath in front of the hotel.
“We had asked for a penalty of Rs 16 lakh, of which the hotel has paid Rs 14 lakh,” the BMC official said.
In 2009, based on the directives from police authorities, temporary security planters have been placed to protect and ensure health and safety of the guests, employees and public at large. BMC has been made aware of all the necessary approvals that Taj has received in this matter,” said a spokesperson for Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.