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Banks look for new sites as owners issue notice

india Updated: Dec 07, 2011 00:51 IST
Darpan Singh

Landlords, who had let out their residential properties to banks, will on Wednesday serve formal notices to all 127 branches of public and private banks, asking them to stop activities with immediate effect.

The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ruled that banks and nursing homes could not operate out of residential premises in Noida. In the run-up to the court verdict, the landlords had formed a body — Noida residential banks’ association. They held a meeting on Tuesday and compiled a list of 127 branches that would get notices on Wednesday.

The association said that the banks had been directed by the court to apply to the Noida Authority for alternative sites in commercial areas. It said the court had also directed the authority to allot required space in two months.

“We went through the court order and decided to ask the banks to shut all operations with immediate effect. If we don’t comply with the court order, our lease deeds will be cancelled, so the banks have to bear with us,” said RK Mittal, a resident of Sector 19. Mittal, in 2002, had moved the high court against a 2001 Noida Authority order, cancelling the plot allotment for letting out a portion of his residential plot to a bank. Not given relief, he moved the SC, which finally led to Monday’s order.

Rohit Sapra of the association said, “Each bank branch needs a minimum area of 1,500 sq feet to function, but the existing units in commercial plots are very small.”

Meanwhile, the authority said it had, for long, been trying to make sure banks, nursing homes, companies or persons carrying on any commercial activity on residential premises move out, but since the matter has been in court for about a decade, it was not taking action against such establishments.