The Supreme Court Monitoring Committee on Friday sealed three eateries — including one run by the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) — and a curio and jewellery shop inside the Red Fort complex, a World Heritage Site.
The team of the SC Monitoring Committee, known as the Bhure Lal Committee, reached the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) — protected monument along with ASI and MCD personnel towards the evening.
The establishments sealed include a privately-run cafeteria and a curio and jewellery shop at the eastern end of the Chhatta Bazaar, a staff canteen on the south side of Naubat Khana and a cafeteria named Daawat Khana, run by ITDC.
“The two canteens, the shops and the Daawat Khana have been sealed by the SC Monitoring Committee,” Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) spokesperson Dr B R Mani confirmed but refused to elaborate.
Sources in the Bhure Lal Committee said one of the eateries was run from an abandoned government quarter, the other was on encroached land and many alterations had been done at the ITDC eatery.
“Moreover, all these establishments have come up after 2007. These are not acceptable under the Master Plan 2021,” said a member of the Committee on condition of anonymity.
Incidentally, the ITDC establishment is run under a proper arrangement with the ASI.
ITDC Director (Commercial and Marketing) Rajiv Makin said they would first seek legal opinion and “approach the Supreme Court through ASI with a request for de-sealing.”
Makin clarified that it was a British-era building built as a Tea House. Those who owned the private establishments were not available for comments. This move leaves all existing eateries inside the Red Fort sealed. ASI officials claim to have no clue about the future course of action.