‘Sex workers used hidden door in Thane lodge to escape during raids’

The lodge allegedly charged people who wished to use the rooms for illegal activities Rs1,000 for two hours

mumbai Updated: Dec 02, 2016 14:41 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times
Thane hidden lodge,Thane demoliton drive,Illegal lodge
TMC workers demolish Satyam Lodge on Thursday. (Praful Gangurde)

Demolition of the Satyam Lodge continued early on Friday under the supervision of top-notch civic officials and the police. Civic commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal revealed that each of the lodge’s 250 hidden rooms were divided into three to four cubicles, which were used as separate rooms.

“The bigger rooms were divided into small 6x6 cubicles. The condition of the rooms implies that all of them were used to carry out illegal activities. We have demolished the rooms and will check our tax records for details of the lodge,” said Jaiswal.

The demolition drive against bars and lodges in Thane — undertaken by the Thane Municipal Corporation — started on November 30. While conducting such a drive at the Upavan-based lodge, civic officials stumbled upon a second lodge in the basement.

“There is a metal door at the back of the lodge, which sex workers used as an escape route during raids. The door leads to an industrial belt, a slum and then back to the Yeoor Gate opposite this lodge,” said a senior official requesting anonymity.

The lodge allegedly charged people who wished to use the rooms for illegal activities Rs1,000 for two hours.

Civic officials said they received information about two more bars in the area that have hidden rooms. They said the demolition squad will target them next.

“We demolished seven lodges and bars in Yeoor and a few more in Kapurbawdi on Thursday night. We witnessed illegal activities inside these places. The drive will continue till all illegal structures are demolished,” said Jaiswal.

Locals said they were unaware of the lodge’s hidden surface.“There is a huge wall along the road. We always assumed that the lodge was as big as that wall. We had no idea that a Harappa-like city was buried underneath,” said a woman who stays in the slums opposite the lodge.

The lodge was constructed in a valley below the road surface, where a small lane leads to the rooms below. It is situated on land belonging to a Madhya Pradesh-based company and was leased during the Gram Panchayat era


Demolition drive unearths 274 hidden rooms in Thane lodge

First Published: Dec 02, 2016 14:39 IST