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Restauranter grabs land, faces action

IT WAS shocking for Kanpur Municipal Corporation (KMC) officials to find that a Naveen Market restaurant owner had grabbed a large portion of underground land through which a drain passed. Annoyed over the misdeed, municipal commissioner Badal Chatterjee promptly ordered an inquiry into the encroachment and asked officers to register a case against the restaurant owner.

india Updated: Jun 17, 2006 00:19 IST

IT WAS shocking for Kanpur Municipal Corporation (KMC) officials to find that a Naveen Market restaurant owner had grabbed a large portion of underground land through which a drain passed.

Annoyed over the misdeed, municipal commissioner Badal Chatterjee promptly ordered an inquiry into the encroachment and asked officers to register a case against the restaurant owner. “The case will be registered under the Urban Act and the occupied area will be freed,” Chatterjee told HT. Moreover, he added, the restaurant owner would be forced to pay user charges from the day he grabbed the nullah.

The fact came to light when National Textile Corporation (NTC) officials made a written complaint to the KMC that encroachment of underground land was threatening the sewerage system in the area.

Following the plaint, an expert team of KMC officials and engineers visited the place this week and confirmed the charges leveled against the restaurant.

The team submitted its report to Chatterjee on Friday evening and he immediately ordered that an FIR be lodged against the restaurant owner. He also ordered demolition of the illegal construction over the nullah.

General secretary of the NTC Mills Officers’ Association Rajendra Trivedi and the unit president of the association RP Sharma alleged that the restaurant’s underground kitchen had been built over the drain.

They alleged that the restaurant owner had also laid down pipes in the direction of the NTC residential area to discharge kitchen sewage and garbage.

In addition, the restaurant also occupied a major portion of the public thoroughfare to facilitate sale of ice-cream and had constructed stairs to connect another restaurant on the first floor. The leaders further said taking advantage of vacant NTC bungalows, the restaurant owner blocked the passage to the buildings and stopped the entry of people through the area. Later, he illegally constructed an underground kitchen over the drain.

They said the illegal construction came up over the past six months. However, refuting the charge, restaurant owner Vikas Mehrotra said no construction had taken place for the past 25 years. Mehrotra insisted that no passage or drain existed behind the restaurant. He added extension work of the restaurant was done within the purview of municipal laws and with due permission. However, he did not make any comment on the installation of a submersible pump below the main road of the market.

But an on-the-spot inquiry ordered by Chatterjee confirmed that Mehrotra had grabbed the entire nullah.

First Published: Jun 17, 2006 00:19 IST