Bhayandar: To get the twin-city rid of the tag of having a maximum number of bars and lodges, Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) chief Dr. Naresh Gite has teamed up with the Thane (rural) cops to launch a massive demolition drive.
Four lodges with an equal number of bars and hookah dens have been razed so far, creating a fear psychosis among the entire hospitality fraternity especially residential hotels. The association of hotel and bar owners have unanimously decided to set their own house in order by offering voluntary demolitions of illegal structures and also making it mandatory for all its members to submit a declaration on stamp paper to pledge that they would not indulge in any illegal or immoral activities in their respective establishments and abide by the rules and regulations laid by down the concerned authorities.
In response, the civic administration is understood to have given a week’s period to remove the illegalities. “If the establishment owners raze the illegalities on their own, we are fine with it, however, after the deadline the drive will resume with renewed vigour and nobody will be spared,” said an officer.
In a meeting held in Bhayandar on Tuesday, the hoteliers agreed to pull down illegal extensions, but also contended that most of the establishments including restaurants, bar, lodges and hotels were in existence since the gram panchayat regime, during which they were at liberty to conduct business from residential and industrial structures, after procuring due permissions and paying all taxes.
“Like in other trades, few shady elements might be involved in violations and immoral activities, but not all can be taken to task for the act of some. However, we as an association have already taken steps to desist those who are involved in illegal activities,” said association chief Sachin Dange. Apart from catering to the needs of the local populace for wedding and other occasions, the twin-city is a hub for traders from Gujarat who avail lodging facilities during business trips. However, a section of hotel and bar owners are exploiting the situation by getting indulged in illegal and immoral activities for selfish gains.