Demolition drive unearths 274 hidden rooms in Thane lodge
All the rooms were strewn with liquor bottles, cigarette butts, condoms and drugs,” said a civic official, on condition of anonymitymumbai Updated: Dec 02, 2016 00:36 IST
Workers of the Thane Municipal Corporation on Thursday began demolishing 16-room Satyam lodge near Upvan lake, only to stumble upon a hidden three-storey structure in the basement with 274 additional rooms.
“We immediately called the civic commissioner. After inspection, we demolished entire lodge near Upvan lake to find a total of 290 rooms. All the rooms were strewn with liquor bottles, cigarette butts, condoms and drugs,” said a civic official, on condition of anonymity.
However, the police claimed the three-storied structure had 55 rooms, of which 17 were demolished during the anti-encroachment drive.
“There were a total of 55 rooms of which 17 were demolished on Thursday. The rest 38 are scheduled to be demolished on Friday. We will make a panchnama of the incident on Friday morning,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Sunil Lokhande told HT.
Thursday was the second day of the TMC’s drive against encroachments on service roads — the biggest demolition of bars, hotels and lodges in the city.
Sandeep Malvi, public relations officer of TMC, said, “Satyam Lodge is near Upavan lake, a popular hangout for residents. The lodge is a 10x20 sqft structure visible from the road. Initially, we demolished only a small portion of the lodge, which was obstructing the road, but were shocked to find so many rooms in the basement.”
On August 13, 2014, the police’s anti-trafficking cell had raided the lodge and had found 60 rooms in the basement.
Joint commissioner of police (Thane) Ashutosh Dumbare said, “We were not aware the lodge had so many rooms. I have asked a senior police inspector and deputy commissioner of police from the zone to give a report on the lodge and the earlier raid.”
Another police officer from the Thane commissionerate said, “We did not carry out periodical checks as licences of some lodges had been cancelled. It is the TMC’s duty to take action against illegal structures.”
The TMC said the lodge was built in 1984 and the rooms in the basement were built recently. The lodge paid taxes only for 16 rooms all these years.
Malvi said the municipal corporation will register cases against the lodge owner.
From Wednesday, the corporation started a major demolition drive against illegal structures obstructing the roads. Ten teams carried out the drive across the city and took action against illegal bars, garages, lodges and car showrooms.
On Thursday, eight lodges, 25 dhabas, 10 hotel sheds, 25 garages, 30 furniture showrooms and five bars were also demolished in the drive.