The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel in Colaba will have to pay Rs 2.15 crore for occupying the adjoining public space by creating flower beds, putting up barricades and parking vehicles, thus blocking pedestrian movement.
The amount is being charged for the use of public space, including the pavement along the stretch from Gateway of India to Radio Club, from June 1, 2009 to March 31, 2015. The deadline for payment is April 15.
Despite repeated attempts, the Taj management refused to comment on the allegations, but a spokesperson said the management would soon respond to the charges levelled by the civic body.
In 2011, too, the A-ward officials had asked the hotel to pay Rs 6 crore for use of public space. However, after repeated reminders, too, the hotel neither paid the amount, nor cleared the flower beds.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has also asked the hotel to remove the barricades. “This is not a fine, but charges towards occupation of public area. We send them reminders every year to pay the amount for use of public road,” said assistant municipal commissioner Chandrakant Chore.
Activist Lalit Jain, who has been following the matter, said, “The hotel has encroached upon the footpath for years. For the record, the BMC has been sending notices of varied amounts calculated since 2009 to the hotel, but they have never taken action over the hotel’s failure to pay up.”
Civic officials said the hotel administration is yet to reply to the notice.