After 42 years, sun to finally set on Indian Coffee House | delhi | Hindustan Times
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After 42 years, sun to finally set on Indian Coffee House

Forty-two years after it started serving coffee in the heart of the city, shutters will soon come down, finally, of the Indian Coffee House situated at the Baba Kharak Singh Marg near Connaught Place.

delhi Updated: Jul 14, 2011 00:16 IST
Neelam Pandey

Forty-two years after it started serving coffee in the heart of the city, shutters will soon come down, finally, of the Indian Coffee House situated at the Baba Kharak Singh Marg near Connaught Place.

The management of the Indian Coffee House has been defaulting on its rent to the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) for the past two years. According to sources, the civic agency has finally told them to vacate the premises by the end of the month.

“We owe them nearly Rs 55 lakh as rent and interest apart from the monthly rent. We don’t have so much of money as our sales have dipped over a period of time. We have requested them that we can clear the amount in monthly installments,” said Pratap Singh, manager of Indian Coffee House.

“In the last meeting, we were asked by NDMC to vacate the premises. They have not renewed our lease as they want the payment upfront,” he added.

The civic agency, on the other hand, claims that the management has not been paying the usual monthly rent either. Though they are reportedly charged a meagre amount of Rs 14 per sq ft, which comes to approximately Rs 36,000 every month, the coffee house has been defaulting on that too.

“One of the floors of the building on which the Coffee House is situated is occupied by a government ministry and even they pay us a rent of R400 per sq ft. But the management of the Coffee House has not been able to pay their rent every month. Even the court has not granted them any stay,” said a senior NDMC official.

Earlier the court had directed the management to clear its outstanding dues or vacate the premises. The Indian Coffee House, which started operating in 1969, is run by Indian Coffee Worker Cooperative Society Limited. Earlier, the Society had planned to close down the coffee shop in 2009, but due to public outcry and intervention of chief minister Sheila Dikshit, it got a new lease of life.

Sprawling over 4,500 square feet, the Indian Coffee House has an open terrace which covers an area of 2,300sq ft and a closed hall which covers 2,300 sq ft. “Once they vacate we will start the procedure of renting it out and we are hoping to get a rent at a rate of at least R400 per sq ft,” added the official.