Delhi Police on Sunday registered a case against the owner of Connaught Place’s Unplugged Courtyard, a day after the roof of the restaurant collapsed. No one was injured in the incident.
Police blamed unauthorized renovation of the eatery for the collapse.
“The owner of Unplugged Courtyard was renovating the premises without approval from NDMC. We have booked him under Indian Penal Code Section 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others),” said BK Singh, DCP (New Delhi).
The restaurant, however, dismissed the allegation and claimed that the damaged portion actually belonged to a neighbouring sweet shop that had been closed for years.
“Unplugged Courtyard has not suffered even a scratch. The confusion is because the damaged sweet shop and our restaurant belong to the same landlord and share a common boundary wall,” claimed Nitin Kapoor, the public relations officer for the restaurant located in CP’s L-Block.
The roof collapse of Unplugged Courtyard was the second instance of a roof of a heritage building in Connaught Place coming down. A part of the roof of Jain Book Depot in CP’s C Block had come down on February 2, raising concerns about the safety of buildings in the city’s favourite shopping destination
The two collapses have left traders worried. “Customers are bound to be scared. But so far, our customers have not said anything about the twin collapses in their feedback. We will wait and observe their response,” said Charanjeet Singh, operation director of Warehouse Café.
Warehouse café is one of CP’s 21 open-air restaurants whose rooftop sections were shut by NDMC in response to the first collapse. Singh said the decision to shut down the rooftop section had hurt 30-40 per cent of his business.
A number of traders believed that a change in attitude with regard to renovation and construction of buildings in CP was the need of the hour. “Blanket permission must be given for repair and renovation of unused or damaged buildings in Connaught Place. It is a pain and a lengthy process to get permission from authorities at present,” said Vikram Badhwar, secretary, New Delhi Traders Association of Connaught Place.