The Shetty dominated restaurants and hotels are violating NMMC’s marginal space rules. Yet even as NMMC continues to take action against the small time shops and businesses for encroaching on marginal space, the restaurants remain untouched raises allegations of a bias approach. Just how the rich and mighty escape action on them and the poor and helpless are subjected to the rules of the land in a complete bias approach of officials has been exposed in the major violations of GR and encroachment done by popular restaurants and bars in Vashi. On the list of the violators are Vashi’s popular names of restaurants. The first on the list is: Vasundhara Hotel at BSEL Park next to Vashi Railway Station Sector 17, Vashi located Navratna Restaurant Sector 17, Vashi located Kshirsagar Restaurant Sector 10, Vashi located Sanjog Restaurant Sector 9, Vashi located Shabri Restaurant Sector 9, Vashi located Vaidehi Restaurant and Bar. And it’s not like the NMMC is not aware of the encroachments made by these restaurants. NMTV News has documentary evidence of the notices sent by the Vashi ward office to these restaurants for removing encroachments or facing in the NMMC hammer way back in 2008. * VASUNDHARA RESTAURANT In a notice dated 20th September 2008, the Vashi ward officer had found in his survey that the Vasundhara restaurant at BSEL had built ACC cement weather shade and was using the said place as extended eatery. Another major violation and encroachment the restaurant did without NMMC permission was that it built a kitchen on east side where only weather shade was permitted. * NAVRATNA RESTAURANT In a notice dated 1st December 2008 Vashi Ward Officer Ashok Madhvi remarked that Hotel Navratna had occupied the northern marginal space and had built permanent weather shade and had incorporated the space into hotel. Navratna restaurant is commercial using the marginal space in violation of rules. The ward officer had asked them to remove the same or face action. * HOTEL KSHIRSAGAR Sector 17, Vashi situated Kshirsagar restaurant has perhaps been the biggest violator. Without fearing the consequences, the hotel owner Jayesh Shetty changed the original design of the building and added Shops no. 1, 2, 10, 11 and 12 together without taking permission from NMMC. It also built a chimney on the east side of the restaurant without taking the required permission from NMMC. * HOTEL SHABRI In its notice dated 27th November 2008, NMMC stated that the owner of Hotel Shabri Shankar and Jayanthi Shetty had converted the makeshift weather shade into usage of full-fledged kitchen without permission. The restaurant continues to use the weather shade as a full fledged kitchen violating even fire safety norms. * HOTEL SANJOG BAR AND RESTAURANT In its notice dated 27th November 2008, NMMC stated the owner of Sanjog Bar and Restaurant Shankar Shetty had also converted the makeshift weather shade into usage of full-fledged kitchen without taking permission from NMMC. The hotel still uses the space as a kitchen violating fire safety norms and NMMC rules. * HOTEL VAIDEHI BAR AND RESTAURANT In its notice dated 11th November 2008, NMMC stated that Vaidehi Bar and Restaurant was occupying the front yard free space and had in fact constructed a bathroom here in violation of NMMC rules. None of the hotel owners were ready to speak to us on the violations made by them but all these violations are on record. The GR clearly states that after survey or observation if the concerned officer fails to take action against the encroachment or against any illegal structure then the officer or employee incharge should be acted against. But even this GR is clearly being violated. At the NMMC HQ, the officer in charge of taking action DMC (Encroachment) Subhash Gaikar only has lame excuses and feeble assurances on their unjustified delay in taking action. The shocker is that despite NMMC’s own officials bringing the violations and encroachment on record and serving notices to these restaurants and bars, two years ago no action has been taken yet. Not even after the High Court order of demolishing encroachment in Thane district including Navi Mumbai. Perhaps it’s the dominance of the Shetty run restaurants and bars, their influence on the NMMC administration and prevailing corruption, that there continues to be an unjustified delay in demolishing encroachments made by these restaurants at Vashi. With cameraperson Deepal Kamble, Shilpa Suryawanshi for NMTV News.
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