The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) went on a razing rampage on illegal extensions in hotel and restaurants across the city. However, it took action only after 14 people lost their lives. The civic administration delayed its action just to follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) against illegal use of open spaces on terraces.The BMC in full swing started pulling down illegal extensions in restaurants and shopping malls across Mumbai on Saturday morning and took action on 314 restaurants. It inspected a 624 eateries. BMC also seized more than 417 cylinders from the restaurants which were stored without permissions.In Raghuwanshi compound, four restaurants that faced action were Sheesha, P22, Hotel Payaana and Hotel Fumes.Prashant Sapkale, assistant commissioner of G South ward, who has now been transferred to K East ward said that he had taken action against Mojo’s Bistro in August and September following complaints of violation of open space on the terrace. “We had given three inspection reports to the owner of Mojo’s Bistro as part of the standard operating procedure (SOP) for violation of open space on the terrace and took action on August 2 and September 22,” said Sapkale. He added that he had no other option but to follow the SOP before taking action.Shockingly, the G South ward office forgot to follow the SoP and demolished illegal extension without even serving a notice. “Did the civic body follow SOP while action against these eateries,” said Dinesh Vaghela, a Right to Information Activist (RTI).“At any place where hookah is being served, no food item can be served,” said Vaghela. He added that the civic body violated rules and regulations while granting licence under section 394 of Mumbai Municipal Act.
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