Sixteen restaurants in Hauz Khas in south Delhi face closure for causing environmental damage to the 14th century village where heritage structures share space with the Capital's top-of-the-line dining addresses.
After inspecting all the 34 restaurants in the Hauz Khas village, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on August 14 issued them show-cause notices.
The restaurants were found not to have environmental clearance. In the absence of sewage treatment plants, leftovers were being flushed down the drain. They were also extracting groundwater illegally for cleaning and other such purposes.
"While others have sought time for steps such as setting up of sewage treatment plants, 16 failed to respond. We propose to send closure notices to them," DPCC chief Sandeep Mishra said.
A sewage plant can treat waste and also recycle water.
HT has been writing how Delhi's restaurants, luxury hotels and clubs were the biggest water-guzzlers and were also discharging a huge amount of untreated sewage.
The DPCC, which refused to identify the 16 eateries, has sent the closure proposals to the secretary (environment) for approval. Closure will mean snapping of water and power supplies, sealing of the premises and cancellation of licences.
"You need treatment plants in industries not in eateries. Ours is a small (48-seat) restaurant. We don't use much water. But I guess we need to follow instructions," Saurabh Kushwaha, the owner of restaurant Iron Curtain, said.