Mushrooming of banquet halls across Ranchi is not just disrupting city traffic but also choking major roads for hours every day, residents and civic officials said.
During the marriage season, the city traffic gets congested at a number of key places, resulting in long traffic snarls, inconveniencing pedestrians and motorists, said Ajay Anand Thakur, a city-based lawyer.
“The city roads are already narrow and remain congested on any given day and now with a large number of marriage halls that have come up, the traffic problem has increased manifold and motorists take almost double the time to reach their destinations during the wedding season,” he said.
In 2015, the Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) set norms and guidelines for banquet halls and hostels to tighten the noose around unregistered halls, to declare them illegal and to cancel licenses of the one flouting norms.
According to the RMC rules, owners need to submit an application to the civic body to construct a marriage hall and it is mandatory for them to obtain a license from the RMC.
The rules also specify that banquet halls should have adequate parking space. The rules also state that if the owners fail to obtain the license for the halls within the first three months, it will be declared as unauthorized and will be shut down.
Deputy mayor Sanjiv Vijayvargiya said the municipal corporation has formed special teams or “dhawa dals” to check unauthorized marriage halls.
“Our teams keep conducting surprise checks to crack down on unregistered banquet halls and to verify if norms and rules are being followed and we even cancel licenses whenever needed,” he said, adding that since marriage halls are booked in advance, the RMC does ask the hall management to shut down, instead give them time so that their clients do not face any inconvenience.
“We serve a notice to banquet hall management and ask them to close their operations and also give them the reason for the cancellation of their license,” he said.
“They can also rectify their errors and apply for the license again with the municipal corporation.”
During the past one month, the RMC cancelled licenses of three banquet halls, said RMC’s city manager Swati Raj.
“We conducted a month-long drive in December and cracked down on three unregistered marriage halls,” she said, adding that the corporation has collected Rs. 25,000 as fine from each of the hall management and will again begin a month-long drive from January 15, when the marriage season begins.
She further said that the RMC received 86 applications for marriage and banquet halls in 2015 -16 out of which 56 were accepted and 30 rejected. In 2016-17, the RMC received eight new applications, out of which one was accepted.