Finally, the Urban Development Department has taken action in parking violations case of Hotel Tunga at Vashi. In a letter, clearly trying to prove that they mean business and at the same time appease the influential owner of Hotel Tunga, the UD Dept has ordered CIDCO Managing Director and NMMC Commissioner to demolish the illegal Coffee Shop and Laundry rooms on the plot and make stilt parking provision on the public parking plot, which technically is not permissible in the GDCR. It may be recalled that NMTV News aired a report in March 2009 on Hotel Tunga at Vashi that has obtained Occupancy Certificate on forged plans and committed grave parking violations. This was not just speculations but was officially admitted by V S Marathe – the Manager – Town Services of CIDCO in a letter to NMMC’s Town Planning Office. We had reported on how the case raised allegations of the deep-rooted corruption in system. With NMMC and CIDCO tossing responsibility of the violations committed by Hotel Tunga, it was up to the Urban Development Dept. to take action against the violations done by Hotel Tunga, which the UD has; finally. The man behind the Hotel Tunga parking violations expose social activist Sandeep Thakur who went to High Court against the violations informed us that in its latest letter, the UD dept has ordered CIDCO and NMMC to ensure that the illegal Coffee Shop built on 10 parking slots, laundry on 3 parking slots and constructs another 7 parking slots that it showed as “stack parking” in the plan but never constructed. And though on the face of it, it looks as if the Urban Development Dept. has taken action against Hotel Tunga, if studied closely the department has also appeased the influential owner by permitting him to cover up his violations by constructing stilt parking on the public parking plot in front of the hotel. Sandeep Thakur admits that the GDCR does not technically permit this but it’s still a welcome step. Further, the UD Dept. has also not stipulated any time period for corrections to be made by Hotel Tunga. The case of Hotel Tunga is an example of how norms and rules are different for the rich and the poor. It always the weak who are trampled upon and when the same violations are committed by the rich and mighty, authorities choose to either sit as dumb and deaf spectators for reasons not hard to understand or make a mockery of its own rules and laws like the UD has done in the case of Hotel Tunga. With cameraperson Abhay Prasad, Zeba Warsia for NMTV News.
September 12, 2015
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