The Connaught Place Restaurants Association might approach the court against New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) decision to shut down the rooftop sections of 21 open-air restaurants in Connaught Place.
The sealed establishments include My Bar Headquarters, Warehouse Cafe in D-block, The Vault Cafe in F-block, Kinbuck-2 and Kitchen Bar in C-block, Lord of the Drinks, Open House Cafe, Jungle Jamboree, Boombox Cafe, Farzi Cafe, House of Commons, Hotel Palace Heights, Office Canteen Bar, Luggage Room, Cafe OMG, Unplugged Courtyard, Barbeque Nation, TC Bar & Restaurant, Teddy Boy Restaurant and The Niche Restaurant and Cafe Public Connection.
Priyank Sukhija, president of the association, told HT that they will move court if required.
“The NDMC took commercial taxes from us for the rooftop areas too. We will meet the council chairperson and tell him our side of the story before resorting to legal action. This is not done. Two separate set of rules can’t apply. On one side, the NDMC is organising the open-air Palate Fest at Nehru Park. On the other hand, we are being penalised,” he said.
This sealing of rooftops of these establishments by the NDMC had come last Friday after part of a building in CP’s C Block collapsed last week, raising concerns about the safety of buildings at one of Delhi’s favourite shopping destinations.
Council officials claim that these open-air restaurants have been running for years without permission. The chief architect’s office had sent showcause notices to these for misuse of premises under sections 250 and 252 of the NDMC Act, 1994. According to an official, the council prohibits use of terrace and balconies in these heritage buildings for commercial activities.
The NDMC has already formed a six-member panel, comprising structural safety experts from IIT-Delhi, to ascertain the reason behind the roof collapse.
Constructed in 1933, Connaught Place was named after Duke of Connaught (Arthur, son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert) to honour him on his visit to Delhi. In 2007, the CP redevelopment was kicked off as a pilot project with the facade restoration of C Block. It was scheduled for completion ahead of the Commonwealth Games in October, 2010. However, it could be finished only in 2013, after missing a series of deadlines and escalation of cost from Rs 76 crore to Rs 671 crore.