The NDMC had earlier issued the owners notices to remove the ‘illegally built structures’.
New Delhi: Days after collapse of roof of a building in Connaught Place, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has taken 21 rooftop “restobars” to task by ordering their closure. The move comes after roof of a vacant shop on top of Jain Book Depot in Connaught Place’s C-Block had collapsed last week, raising questions about the structural stability of other buildings in the iconic market.
“At least 21 rooftop restaurants which have been operating illegally have been sealed. Warehouse cafe, Vault Cafe, Kitchen Bar, Lord of the Drinks, Jungle Jamboree, Boombox Cafe, Farzi Cafe, House of Commons, Office Canteen Bar, Luggage Room, Cafe OMG, Unplugged Courtyard and Barbeque Nation are among those restaurants which have been sealed,” said a senior NDMC official.
According to NDMC norms, terrace or balconies in heritage buildings cannot be used for any kind of commercial activity. “These restaurants have converted terrace space into dining areas and played loud music. These terraces were residential units earlier and cannot take excess load. The NDMC had earlier issued the owners notices to remove the ‘illegally built structures’.
After notices were issued, the owners submitted an affidavit to the NDMC stating that they will not use the balconies/terrace for any commercial activity. However, they continued with the business, after which we had to seal the area,” he added.
Last year, the New Delhi Traders Association (NDTA), too, had written to NDMC chairman Naresh Kumar to cap the number of restaurants on rooftops, citing excess load on heritage structures.
The NDMC, meanwhile, has also decided to conduct a survey of all “dangerous buildings” in the area by end of this month to avoid any mishap and formulate a policy to regulate structures installed on rooftops in commercial areas.
The NDMC had last week formed a six-member panel, comprising structural safety experts from IIT-Delhi, CPWD, NDMC and the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of the area to inspect the site and ascertain the reason behind the cave-in.