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, an NDMC official said.
The move comes 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.
“The 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. The rooftop sections were sealed on Friday,” a senior official said. He added that the council prohibits use of terrace and balconies in these heritage buildings for commercial activities.
Ajit Ajmani, owner of MyBar Headquarters, said that the NDMC had issued notices to these establishments.
“They asked us not to use the balcony or terrace for commercial activity. After the collapse, the officials came and sealed the rooftop areas,” Ajmani said.
Last year, the New Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) had written to NDMC chairman Naresh Kumar to cap the number of restaurants on rooftops, citing excess load on heritage structures.
The NDMC has already formed a six-member panel, comprising structural safety experts from IIT-Delhi, to ascertain the reason behind CP’s 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.