Illegal construction: Mumbai's Willingdon Gymkhana under scanner, again

  • Swati Goel Sharma, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 21, 2015 23:04 IST

Six months after a raid for tax evasion, the Willingdon Catholic Gymkhana at Santacruz (West) is under the scanner yet again, this time over the illegal construction on its premises.

According to the notice issued by the H-West ward officials under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, a temporary shed and a kitchen have been built illegally on the premises. The gymkhana authorities have been given till May 22 to demolish the illegal structures.

The fire department, too, has written to the gymkhana, objecting to the temporary kitchen, which violates the safety norms by using PNG for preparation of eatables. In their letter, the fire officials said during their inspection, they found the terrace was being used for cooking without a valid NOC from the department.

The gymkhana has also received a show-cause notice from the excise officials for illegal sale of liquor on their terrace, a non-designated area for serving liquor.

Another notice has been served over the difference in the stock of liquor bottles mentioned in the record books and those found at the spot, when the department raided the gymkhana. Copies of all the notices are with HT.

The gymkhana has accepted the irregularities pointed out by the excise department, and pleaded for minimum penalty.

Advocate Joe Sodder, a gymkhana member who obtained the documents under the RTI Act, said, “I took up the issues with the management, but despite the documents, they have been denying the irregularities.”

Sonia Thomas, general manager of the gymkhana, said the matter is under investigation. “The temporary structures have been removed,” she said.

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