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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Civic body clips heritage hotel’s wings

Ritam Halder, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 30, 2012
First Published: 00:26 IST(30/11/2012) | Last Updated: 00:28 IST(30/11/2012)

Maidens Hotel, which started its operation in 1903, deserves the heritage tag it holds, what with the pristine white structure and beautiful surroundings. On Thursday, however, there was trouble in this concrete paradise — one of the oldest in the city — as four JCBs entered the hotel premises at 7 Sham Nath Marg, Alipur Road, around noon in a bid to demolish an illegally-constructed block.

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“This is around a year old construction and was being used as office space. We had served a show-cause notice on September 11 regarding this construction of an entire unit/block near the swimming pool. As they couldn’t furnish any documentary evidence, we issued the demolition order on November 19. A six-day period was also given to the hotel to clear the illegally-constructed portion. Since they didn’t, we decided to demolish the illegal portion,” said Akhilesh Pathak, assistant engineer with the building department of North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

Meanwhile the hotel released a statement saying, “We had no prior intimation of today’s action by the NDMC. We do not know why such action was taken. We are trying to find out more details.”

The hotel staff removed furniture and other items from the demolished block — built on a lawn tennis court — which included a large porch, one big hall and 7 to 8 rooms.

The demolition drive which went on till 5.30pm and will continue again on Friday.
According to municipal commissioner PK Gupta, “Similar actions will be taken in the near future. We are conducting a survey to identify buildings with illegal construction.”

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